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Published: Mon, June 19, 2017
Global Media | By Abel Hampton

Wife of alleged Virginia shooter: 'I can't believe he did this'

Wife of alleged Virginia shooter: 'I can't believe he did this'

Hodgkinson has been identified as the suspect in the Wednesday, June.

A Federal Bureau of Investigation lab team looks for evidence in the outfield signage at the ball field which is the scene of a multiple shooting in Alexandria, Va., Wednesday, June 14, 2017, after a rifle-wielding attacker opened fire on Republican lawmake.

In the course of Thursday night's charity game, which drew a record attendance to Nationals Park, MedStar hospital issued a new update on Scalise's condition, saying that the lawmaker "remains in critical condition, but has improved in the last 24 hours".

The gunman who shot a top GOP congressman and several other people Wednesday at a baseball practice outside the nation's capital had a long history of lashing out at Republicans and recently frightened a neighbor by firing a rifle into a field behind his IL house.

(AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite).

The attack critically wounded House GOP Whip Steve Scalise of Louisiana and also injured Capitol police officers, and a current and former congressional aide.

"He's in some trouble", said Trump, who had visited late Wednesday.

Flake says Scalise was playing second base at a congressional baseball practice when he was shot by a man standing off the third-base side of the field.

Family members of Matt Mika say the MI native was shot multiple times in his chest and arm, and he remains in the intensive care unit in critical condition at George Washington University Hospital.

The shooter was identified as James T. Hodgkinson, a 66-year-old home inspector from IL. He died after officers in Scalise's security detail fired back at him.

So far, investigators have not linked Hodgkinson to any radical groups, said a law enforcement official who spoke on condition of anonymity because the official was not authorized to discuss the investigation publicly.

MedStar Washington Hospital Center says Rep. Steve Scalise, who was shot in the left hip, had surgery Thursday related to his internal injuries and a broken bone in his leg.

Lawmakers noted their good fortune in having armed protectors on hand - "Thank God", they exclaimed over and over - and said otherwise the shooter would have been able to take a huge deadly toll.

House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi is lashing out at "sanctimonious" Republicans - including some in Congress - who are suggesting vitriolic political rhetoric from the left may be partially to blame for the shooting that wounded GOP Congressman Steve Scalise. "An attack on one of us is an attack on all of us", Ryan said, to prolonged applause.

As the House returned to business, lawmakers sought some semblance of normalcy even as they offered prayers for the wounded and echoed the president in pledges of unity. Sanders says the man authorities identified as opening fire on the practice had apparently volunteered on his presidential campaign. "Violence of any kind is unacceptable in our society, and I condemn this action in the strongest possible terms". The popular and gregarious lawmaker is known for his love of baseball and handed out commemorative bats when he secured the job of House whip several years ago. He sustained a relatively minor injury Wednesday morning as he and other officers engaged with a gunman who shot up a practice of the GOP baseball team. "The congressman will require additional operations, and will be in the hospital for some time".

Sanders issued a two-paragraph statement on Wednesday's shooting at a baseball practice for Republican lawmakers, and read it almost verbatim on the Senate floor.

Republicans and Democrats are fighting for bragging rights in their annual Congressional Baseball game, and doing so as one unit - Team Scalise. Democratic former Alexandria Mayor Bill Euille said he had spoken often with the man on recent mornings at the nearby YMCA.

Until recently, he ran a home-inspection business out of his home in Belleville, in the southwestern corner of the state, across the Mississippi River from St. Louis, according to Hodgkinson's Facebook page.

Hodgkinson said repeatedly that she saw no signs her husband was planning violence. "I can't wrap my head around it", Hodgkinson said.

While top lawmakers, including Scalise, have security details, others do not and they regularly appear in public without protection.

"The guy's down to a handgun, he dropped his rifle, they shoot him, I go over there, they put him in handcuffs", Conaway said, adding that if the shooter had "gotten inside the fence, where a bunch of guys were holed up in the dugout, it would have been like shooting fish in a barrel". "He was just a very calm, rational person, I thought", he said. James Hodgkinson had been a vocal opponent of the Republican party.

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