Congressional Baseball Game Will Take Place as Scheduled Despite Mass Shooting
Alexandria, Virginia— A man armed with a semi automatic rifle opened fire on Republican Members of Congress in Eugene Simpson Stadium Park. The Congressional Republicans were there to practice for a charity baseball game scheduled to take place the next day. The game is a long held tradition between Republicans and Democrats to raise money for The Boys and Girls Clubs of Greater Washington, The Washington Nationals Dream Foundation, and The Washington Literacy Center. However, during morning practice, House Majority Whip, Steve Scalise of Louisiana was shot in the hip and remains the hospital after undergoing 3 surgeries. The bullet traveled through his pelvis to internal organs and caused major bleeding. A lobbyist for Tyson Foods, Matt Mika was shot multiple times in the chest and also remains in critical condition. The other three individuals including 2 police officers have been released from the hospital after being shot in non-critical areas.
The shooter is identified as James Thomas Hodgkinson, a 66-year-old white male from Belleville, Illinois. After police engaged him in a shootout, he died of his injuries at George Washington University Hospital. His social media revealed that he was part of a Facebook group called ‘Terminate the Republican Party’ and had once written “Trump is a traitor. Trump has destroyed our democracy.” Hodgkinson had volunteered on behalf of Vermont Independent Senator and former presidential candidate, Bernie Sanders. Senator Sanders made a statement condemning the attacks and of violence of any kind. “I am sickened by this despicable act,” Sanders stated. “Real change can only come about through nonviolent action, and anything else runs counter to our most deeply held American values.” The FBI is now investigating further and has not yet issued an official motive for the attack.
The baseball game will go ahead as planned with Congress showing a rare display of unity. Republican Representative and team manager, Joe Barton of Texas said, “We’re united not as Republicans and Democrats but as United States representatives. It will be ‘play ball’ tomorrow night, 7:05.”