Updated | Police have named James T. Hodgkinson as the suspect in Wednesday morning’s congressional baseball game practice shooting in Alexandria, Virginia, that saw House Majority Whip Steve Scalise, two Capitol Hill police officers, a congressional staffer and the alleged shooter injured in a mass shooting, according to media reports.
Initial reports from witnesses and congressmen who were at the practice indicated that the shooter fired off as many as 50 rounds, a total that has not been confirmed by police, and that the shooter had lots of ammo fire. Hodgkinson is reportedly a home inspector from Illinois, The Washington Post reported.
Hodgkinson, 66, is from Belleville where he owns a home inspection business. He was charged with battery in April 2006 and aiding to damage a motor vehicle, according to The Post, however, the charges were dismissed.
A friend of Hodgkinson, named Charles Orear, told The Post he met Hodgkinson in Iowa while they were helping to campaign for then-Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders. Orear described Hodgkinson as a “quiet guy.”
A LinkedIn page for one user with the same name and with a home inspecting business dating back to March 1976 shows Hodgkinson also had an interest in Senator Ted Cruz (R-Texas), who ran for president last year.
Alexandria Police confirmed the number of people shot during the incident and said Scalise and the four others injured were taken for medical treatment, Chief Michael L. Brown said during a press conference earlier in the morning. Brown also said that police were on the scene within three minutes and two officers engaged the shooter in gunfire.
Brown said during a later press conference later the FBI and Capitol Police would be taking over the investigation into the shooting because of Scalise’s stature as a top federal employee.
Before police announced the shooter’s name, a witness to the shooting stated the suspect was a white, middle aged male with white hair and a beard who was carrying an assault rifle, NBC4 North Virginia reported.
Scalise, 51, was reportedly shot in the hip but is in stable condition, while the suspect was also hit and taken into custody. The Louisiana congressman was transported to MedStar Washington Hospital Center and was in stable condition before undergoing surgery, Scalise’s office said in a statement released shortly after the shooting.
Representative Roger Williams (R-Texas) said in a statement that a member of his staff was shot and is receiving medical attention. The status and identities of the two Capitol Hill officers is presently unknown.
Staffer Zachary Barth identified himself on his Facebook page later in the morning, stating he was in the hospital and was “okay.”
The shooting began at 7:09 a.m. EST at Eugene Simpson Stadium Park while GOP members were practicing for the annual Congressional Baseball Game, held since 1909, scheduled to take place Thursday.
Republican congressmen who were at the practice, including Representative Mo Brooks and Senators Jeff Flake and Rand Paul, described the events of the shooting to members of the media shortly after. Brooks said he applied pressure to and made a tourniquet for Scalise by using his belt in order to stop bleeding.
Paul, who is also a doctor, told MSNBC that because Scalise is high-ranking member of congressional leadership, his assigned security detail and the presence of Capitol Police likely saved the lives of others at the practice. Paul, and others, have stated that they heard as many as 50 or more shots.
Flake told CBS News that two members of Scalise’s security detail were hit, one woman and one male officer, who was returning fire.
President Donald Trump tweeted that Scalise is “a true friend and patriot, was badly injured but will fully recover,” while offering his thoughts and prayers.