On Wednesday, James Hodgkinson, now known as the GOP Shooter, opened fire on Republicans who were practicing for an annual charity baseball game.
Five people were shot, including House Majority Whip, Rep. Scalise. At some point, Rep. Scalise managed to crawl to a safer position, but sustained a serious wound.
According to the hospital statement, “The bullet travelled across (Scalise’s) from pelvis, fracturing bones, injuring internal organs, and causing severe bleeding.”
What Happened During GOP Shooter rampage
Rep. Roger Williams (R-TX) said that he dove into the first base dugout area.
In the dugout, Williams and his staffer who was shot, Zack Barth, kept their heads down. Senator Jeff Flake(R-AZ) and Rep. Mo Brooks (R-AL) tried to stop Barth’s bleeding with a belt.
“It seem like it went forever. We had no arms. All we had were bats,” Rep. Williams said.
Brooks recounted to authorities that, “Eventually, the shooter started circling around third base, this is my understanding. Of course, I’m down on the ground and helping the guy who has got a bullet hole in his leg.”
Scalise’s security engaged the shooter. After some time, Hodgkinson was taken down and those able rushed out to help Scalise.
Rep. Brad Wenstrup (R-OH) was one of those who ran to aid Scalise. Wenstrup is a doctor and tried to reduce the bleeding as best he could until help arrived.
Hodgkinson died from his injuries at the hospital.
It was later learned that Hodgkinson had specifically targeted the Republicans.
— Carl Quintanilla (@carlquintanilla) June 14, 2017
It was also quickly discovered that Hodgkinson was an ardent Bernie Sanders supporter and had even worked on Sanders’ campaign.
Presidential Statement on GOP Shooter
Reactions to the shooting came in swiftly both from those who were there and from the President himself.
President Trump’s statement via The White House:
“The Vice President and I are aware of the shooting incident in Virginia and are monitoring developments closely. We are deeply saddened by this tragedy. Our thoughts and prayers are with the members of Congress, their staffs, Capitol Police, first responders, and all others affected.”
Other Reactions and Statements to GOP Shooter
Senator Rand Paul (R-KY) was at the practice session and stated it that it, “would have been a massacre” had the Capitol Police not been there to intervene.
Speaker of the House, Paul Ryan (R-WI), gave an impassioned speech from the House floor that same day. Ryan received united applause from everyone in the gallery as he said, “An attack on one of us is an attack on all of us.”
Senator Sanders also weighed in after learning Hodgkinson was one of his former campaign volunteers.
“I have just been informed that the alleged shooter at the Republican baseball practice is someone who apparently volunteered on my presidential campaign. I am sickened by this despicable act. Let me be as clear as I can be. Violence of any kind is unacceptable in our society and I condemn this action in the strongest possible terms. Real change can only come about through nonviolent action and anything else runs against our most deeply held American values. My hopes and prayers are that Representative Scalise, congressional staff and the Capitol Police Officers who were wounded make a quick and full recovery. I also want to thank the Capitol Police for their heroic actions to prevent further harm.”
Just days before the shooting, Sanders delivered an anti-Republican/Trump themed speech in Illinois, just 300 miles from Hodgkinson’s home.
Sanders kicked off that speech by calling President Trump the, “worst and most dangerous president in the history of our country.”
Sanders’ hypocrisy has been called out by Reason.com for linking violence in the past to political rhetoric.
FBI Asks for Help with GOP Shooter Case
The FBI is seeking the public’s help with the investigation into Hodgkinson.
The FBI asks that if you have information concerning this individual, to please contact the FBI’s Washington, D.C. Field Office.
The phone number is 202-278-2000 or 1-800-CALL-FBI (1-800-225-5324) and select option 1.