Steve Scalise shooting: Biggest questions, unknowns after congressman's shooting

  • Steve Scalise shooting: Biggest questions, unknowns after congressman's shooting

Steve Scalise shooting: Biggest questions, unknowns after congressman's shooting

U.S. Rep. Rodney Davis of Taylorville was up to bat during practice with several member of the Republican baseball team practicing for today's game to raise money for charity when others on the field saw James T. Hodgkinson, 66, of Belleville with a gun.

Steve Scalise, the Louisiana Republican shot Wednesday during congressional baseball practice, remains in critical condition "but has improved in the last 24 hours", MedStar Washington Hospital announced Thursday.

On that day, a man later identified as the attacker approached Rep. Jeff Duncan of SC in the parking lot of the Alexandria, Virginia, ballfield, asking him, "Excuse me, sir, who's practicing today, Democrats or Republicans?" as Duncan recalls the encounter. Interest in the charity baseball game has skyrocketed in the aftermath of the shooting, as staffers and lawmakers look to rally around Scalise and the three others who were shot: a congressional staffer, a lobbyist and a Capitol Police special agent.

The shooter was identified as James T. Hodgkinson, a 66-year-old home inspector from IL.

Trump's brief speech at the White House was reminiscent of the more than a dozen times that his predecessor had to address the nation after a mass shooting.

"While the president would like to attend the game and show his support for all of these courageous public servants, he has been advised that there is not enough time to follow Secret Service protocols", Press Secretary Sean Spicer said Wednesday. President Trump visited Scalise in the hospital on Wednesday, calling him a "fighter".

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?

The House used a voice vote Thursday to approve a resolution lauding the Capitol Police for protecting lawmakers and stating that "violence has no place" in society.

"I know as sure as I'm standing here right now that there's no way we would have lived through that", Rep. Mike Bishop, R-Michigan, told "CBS Evening News" anchor Scott Pelley. Kim Weaver, the Democratic nominee who planned to challenge Republican Representative Steve King in Iowa withdrew from the contest citing threats to her life.

Most politicians sought to make their messages Wednesday apolitical, like House Speaker Paul Ryan.

Texas Rep. Roger Williams said that one of his aides, Zack Barth, was shot but was doing well and expected to fully recover. "I know we'll be thinking about each of them as they take the field tonight".

Still he said the event was in part about setting an example and showing that Republicans and Democrats can disagree while still respecting each other.

"While I was not at the practice this morning, I want to thank and commend the first responders and the Capitol Police officers on site who helped bring an end to this disgusting act".

Scalise was fielding balls at second base when he was shot, according to lawmakers present.

Authorities said Hodgkinson died of injuries he received in an exchange of gunfire with officers at the scene.

Hodgkinson, who had been living in his van in Alexandria for the past few months, had posted anti-Trump rhetoric on his Facebook page, and had written letters to his hometown newspaper blaming Republicans for what he considered an agenda favoring the wealthy.

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

The gunman is known to have possessed a rifle, as well as a handgun as he opened fire. While the top lawmakers, including Scalise, have security details, others do not and regularly appear in public without protection. "I think it's a big statement that they're still having it". "There are not enough relationship-building exercises between Republicans and Democrats".

Republican Rep. Chuck Fleischmann of Tennessee scored in the first inning, enjoying a different sort of adrenaline than the one he experienced Wednesday when he passed by the shooter over bloodied ground to take shelter in a dugout - confessing later that "the fear factor was horrific".