Sunday, 25 June, 2017

Bernie Sanders 'sickened' by Alexandria baseball field shooting, repudiates connection to gunman

Suspect in congressional baseball shooting identified What We Know About The Suspect In GOP Baseball Practice Shooting
Darrell Mcdonald | 16 June, 2017, 06:19

Max Clark, who happened to be visiting Spokane, Wash. this week said he played with James T. Hodgkinson, 66, of Bellevillle, Illinois in a golf league nearly 30 years in neighboring Edwardsville.

The report indicated police arrived at 4561 Frank Scott Parkway West in Belleville where they found Hodgkinson with a "high-powered weapon" and a valid IL firearms license.

According to Belleville police, Hodgkinson was target practicing with a high-power rifle at his property in recent months and he cooperated when police asked him to stop.

The shooting took place as a GOP congressional baseball team was practicing in Alexandria, Virginia, ahead of a charity game between Republicans and Democrats scheduled for Thursday. "I am sickened by this despicable act", said Sanders in a prepared statement.

Social media accounts for James T. Hodgkinson, believed to be the man who opened fire on GOP lawmakers at a baseball practice in suburban Washington, D.C., appeared to show him as an outspoken critic of Republicans and a supporter of Sanders' campaign.

Bernie Sanders revealed Hodgkinson "apparently volunteered" for his campaign to represent the Democrats in last year's presidential election.

66-year old Hodgkinson owns a home inspection business, but his home inspection license expired in November 2016, Washington Post quoted law enforcement officials as saying. Its license expired in November previous year and was not renewed, the reports said.

In April 2006, Hodgkinson was charged with misdemeanor battery after he stormed into a neighbor's house in an attempt to force home a teenage girl who, according to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, was under guardianship of Hodgkinson and his wife. Police recovered a shotgun from Hodgkinson following that arrest.

IL 18th District Representative Ray LaHood from Peoria and John Shimkus of the 15th District also play on the team, but were not at practice this morning.

The shooting of Rep. Steve Scalise and four others at a baseball practice for Republican members of Congress on Wednesday morning in Alexandria, Virginia, was always going to quickly turn to politics. Two Capitol Hill police agents and a Congressional aide were also shot. "He was just walking and shooting", she said of the man, whom she described as white and wearing a T-shirt and shorts.

At first, Katie Filous said she thought the noise was related to a pitching machine at the field before hearing screams from the people gathered at the field.

"He didn't say anything. he was just shooting", said Peoples, who was about to teach an exercise class at a nearby YMCA.

"They were screaming, 'It's a shooter!". "I do think that things have become very partisan and very hardened in the country today", he said.

Police identified the shooter as 66-year old James Hodgskinson, of IL.

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