A Belleville, Ill., man who reportedly shot at GOP congressional members and staff at a Virginia Park Wednesday morning, wounding five, had a history of supporting Democrats and recently sought the impeachment of President Donald Trump.
The suspected shooter has been identified as James T. Hodgkinson III, 66, of Belleville. In a news conference regarding the shooting, President Donald Trump said Hodgkinson died after getting into a shootout with first responders.
Hodgkinson’s voting record indicates he is a Democrat, and the top of his Facebook page includes a photo of Bernie Sanders along with the words, “Democratic Socialism explained in three words: ‘We the People.”
In March, he posted an anti-Trump message that says, “Trump is a Traitor. Trump Has Destroyed Our Democracy. It’s Time to Destroy Trump & Co.” It included a link to a petition seeking the impeachment of Trump and Vice President Mike Pence.
The Washington Post reported that Hodgkinson campaigned for Bernie Sanders during his run for the Democratic nomination for U.S. President.
At least five people were wounded during the shooting between the suspect and first responders, including House Majority Whip Steve Scalise, who was shot in the hip during the firefight. Scalise was taken to a local hospital for treatment for his injuries.
Illinois’ Republican congressional delegation is reportedly OK.
The Belleville News Democrat reported that Hodgkinson belonged to a number of anti-Republican groups, including one called “Terminate the Republican Party,” and that he had a record that included arrests on charges of failing to obtain electrical permits, damaging a motor vehicle, resisting a peace officer, eluding police, criminal damage to property and driving under the influence.
Members of Congress and their staff were practicing for an upcoming baseball game.
Hodgkinson’s Facebook page says he is the former owner of JTH Construction and JTH Inspections.