Monday, 19 November, 2018

Nebraska congressional delegation expresses shock, offers prayers after shooting at ballfield

James Hodgkinson's driver's license obtained by CNN James Hodgkinson’s driver’s license obtained by CNN
Kristopher Nichols | 16 June, 2017, 11:07

USA lawmakers returned to regular business on Thursday and prepared to play their annual charity baseball game, one day after a man who had expressed anger toward President Donald Trump opened fire on Republican legislators, leaving a senior congressman in critical condition.

President Donald Trump and first lady Melania Trump with Dr. Ira Y. Rabin, left, after visiting MedStar Washington Hospital Center in Washington, Wednesday, June 14, 2017, where House Majority Leader Steve Scalise of La. was taken after being shot in Alexandria, Va., during a Republican congressional baseball practice.

Inside the Capitol on Wednesday, in the hours after a shooter opened fire on a Republican baseball practice, some of the members who had witnessed the attack still wore dirt-stained jerseys emblazoned with their party ID.

As of Wednesday, Matt Mika, a lobbyist for Tyson Foods and former congressional staffer, was in critical condition after undergoing surgery for a gunshot wound, his family said in a statement.

The 66-year-old man from IL named James Hodgkinson had a history of violence, volunteered for Bernie Sanders's presidential campaign and argued for higher taxes on the rich. Democrats and rights groups had blamed the President's campaign for the spate in violence against immigrants, such as the killing of Indian engineer Srinivas Kuchibhotla in February.

The US president offered the assessment as a shaken US House returned into session a day after the shooting of Mr Scalise and others.

"Their sacrifice makes democracy possible", he said.

Now would the media's connect-the-dots mentality shift into higher gear if a Trump supporter who hated liberals started firing at a Democratic baseball practice?

That reminded me of the Gabby Giffords shooting six years ago, and how exposed members of Congress are as they go about their political activities and their daily lives.

A day earlier, a man with a rifle and a handgun wounded Scalise and others at a baseball practice in a park in nearby Alexandria, Virginia.

However, Collins said while it is "extraordinarily safe" within the walls of the Capital compound, it's more unsafe when they are out and about in their own districts.

"An attack on one of us is an attack on all of us", Speaker Paul Ryan said from the House chamber. Staffer Zack BarthZack Barth, a legislative correspondent for Austin Congressman Roger Williams, was shot in the calf. "I might have it in my glove box but I'm more attuned now more than ever to safety", he told the FOX Business Network's Stuart Varney.

U.S. Capitol Police officers on the House side of the Capitol. Officers in Scalise's security detail wounded Hodgkinson, who was taken into custody and later died. He was one of four wounded by a gunman Wednesday in an attack on a Republican team practice in Virginia.

The gunman was believed to have been in the Alexandria area since March, Slater said.

Authorities said Hodgkinson died of injuries he received in an exchange of gunfire with officers at the scene. Barton, the team manager, said the gunman, dressed in blue jeans and a blue shirt, shot at Scalise at second base and fired toward third baseman Trent Kelly, R-Miss.

The shooting will no doubt change the complexion of the contest: When the lawmakers take the field, they will not merely be playing for bragging rights but also as a show of unity, strength and resilience. Other lawmakers were stunned in the aftermath of the event, which raised questions about the security of members of Congress.

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

For one minute, Congress stopped being Congress and was just a group of people sharing emotions after a very tough week.

But Democrats came out ahead, as Scalise's friend - Rep. Cedric Richmond (D-La.) - settled down to dominate the GOP for an 11-2 win. Rep. Mo Brooks, an Alabama Republican, said his colleague "crawled into the outfield, leaving a trail of blood".



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