Crime

Alexandria Shooter On Facebook: 'Time To Destroy Trump'

| by Michael Doherty

The man suspected of having opened fire at a congressional baseball practice, wounding at least five people, was a vocal critic of President Donald Trump.

The alleged gunman has been identified as 66-year-old James Hodgkinson III, from Illinois, reports The Washington Post. Hodgkinson reportedly shot a barrage of bullets at a park in Alexandria, Virginia, while Republican Congress members were having a baseball practice session on June 14.

Among those wounded in the attack was Republican House Majority Whip Rep. Steve Scalise of Louisiana. Scalise was seriously injured, but a news release from his office said that his condition is "stable."

Republican Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky was at the scene, and said that those in the park "were like sitting ducks," Fox News reports.

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"Without the Capitol Hill police it would have been a massacre," said Paul.

Hodgkinson was hospitalized after he was wounded in a shootout with authorities. WXIN reports that he died from his injuries.

A congressional aide, identified by Republican Rep. Roger Williams of Texas, as Zack Barth, was also injured in the shooting and was receiving medical attention. Barth, a legislative correspondent for Williams' office was “doing well and is expected to make a full recovery.”

Two Capitol Police officers were reported to be in “good condition” after being shot during the incident, said Capitol Police Chief Matthew Verderosa. The chief said the officers “acted heroically” once gunfire rang out.

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The suspected shooter's social media includes posts criticizing the president, even saying "it's time to destroy" Trump, reports TMZ.

"Trump is a traitor," read one of Hodgkinson's Facebook statuses. "Trump has destroyed our democracy. It's time to destroy Trump & co."

Hodgkinson, a supporter of Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont, also opposed Trump's Democratic opponent in the presidential election, Hillary Clinton. Sanders lost the Democratic nomination to Clinton.

In another post, Hodgkinson called Trump an "a** hole," according to The Daily Caller.

"Want to say Mr. President, for being an a** hole you are truly the biggest a** hole we have ever had in the Oval Office," he wrote.

He was listed as a member of various anti-Republican Facebook groups including Expose Republican Fraud, Donald Trump is not my President and Terminate The Republican Party.

Charles Orear, a fellow Sanders volunteer, recalled Hodgkinson as "progressive."

"He was this union tradesman, pretty stocky, and we stayed up talking politics," Orear said. "He was more on the really progressive side of things."

The president issued a statement about the shooting:

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.

Sources: The Washington Post, TMZ, Daily Caller, Fox News, WXIN / Photo credit: Gage Skidmore/Flickr

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