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Attack on US lawmakers: what we know

Washington, United States | AFP |  A rifle-toting US man opened fire Wednesday at about two dozen Republican lawmakers and staff holding a baseball practice ahead of a charity game, wounding a top congressman and at least three others.

The shooter — identified as 66-year-old James Hodgkinson, an apparent supporter of former presidential candidate Bernie Sanders — has since died of his injuries, President Donald Trump announced.

Here’s what we know about the shooting:

– What happened? –

Republican lawmakers were practicing at a baseball field in the Washington suburb of Alexandria, Virginia ahead of Thursday night’s annual charity game against their Democratic counterparts when Hodgkinson fired a volley of shots.

Republican Majority Whip Steve Scalise, the party’s number three in the House of Representatives, suffered a hip injury in the early morning melee.

Capitol police who were on security duty returned fire, as did Alexandria police who rushed to the scene. The suspect was apprehended, and the five people wounded were taken to area hospitals.

– Who was wounded? –

* Scalise. He suffered a hip injury and underwent surgery at a Washington hospital. He was expected to recover.

* Zachary Barth, an aide to Representative Roger Williams

* Lobbyist and former congressional staffer Mike Mika (identified by The Washington Post)

* Two Capitol Police officers

– Who was the shooter? –

Hodgkinson, who appears to have been the owner of a home inspection business, was a strong supporter of Sanders, who challenged Hillary Clinton for the Democratic presidential nomination in 2016.

Sanders said he was “sickened” by the attack.

The shooter hailed from Belleville, Illinois, a suburb of St Louis, Missouri, though his wife told ABC News that he had been living in Alexandria for the past two months.

– Political aftermath –

Trump called for national unity in the wake of the shooting, as did House Speaker Paul Ryan and Democratic House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi.

All votes in the House of Representatives were cancelled for Wednesday.

The annual Congressional baseball game will go on as planned Thursday night at Nationals Park in the US capital.


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