US lawmaker Scalise in critical condition after attack by gunman

Dhaka,  Mon,  26 June 2017
Published : 15 Jun 2017, 22:14:19
printer

US lawmaker Scalise in critical condition after attack by gunman

NEW YORK, June 15 (Reuters): Congressman Steve Scalise, the No. 3 Republican in the US House of Representatives, was in critical condition on Wednesday night after he and three others were shot as they practiced for a charity baseball game.

The gunman, who had posted angry messages against President Donald Trump and other Republicans on social media, opened fire on a group of Republican lawmakers and colleagues at a baseball field in Alexandria, Virginia, outside Washington. He was wounded in a gunfight with Capitol Hill police at the scene and later died.

Scalise was shot in the left hip, suffering broken bones, injuries to internal organs and severe bleeding.

He underwent surgery but would need further operations, the MedStar Washington Hospital Center said.

"Rep. Steve Scalise, one of the truly great people, is in very tough shape - but he is a real fighter. Pray for Steve!" Trump said on Twitter after visiting the hospital on Wednesday night.

The gunman, identified by police as 66-year-old James Hodgkinson from the St. Louis suburb of Belleville, Illinois, fired repeatedly at the men playing on the baseball field on Wednesday morning.

Congressmen at the ballpark described hearing loud noises like the sound of firecrackers and 15 to 20 people lying on the ground and realizing they had only baseball bats to defend themselves against bullets.

"When he started shooting, he was shooting to kill people. And thank God he wasn't a very good shot," said Representative Joe Barton, the Republican team's manager.

Also wounded were a congressional aide and one former aide who now works as a lobbyist, officials said. One Capitol Hill police officer suffered a gunshot wound and another officer twisted an ankle and was released from a hospital, police said.

"It was not only chaotic but it was a combat situation," Alexandria Police Chief Mike Brown told reporters.

While police and the Federal Bureau of Investigation said it was too early to determine whether it was a deliberate political attack, the shooting intensified concerns about the sharp divide and bitter rhetoric in U.S. politics.

FBI special agent Tim Slater declined to comment on whether the gunman had a vendetta against Republicans.

"We continue to actively investigate the shooter's motives, acquaintances and whereabouts that led to today's incidents," Slater told reporters. No one else was in custody, he said.

The gunman was believed to have been in the Alexandria area since March, Slater said. Investigators believe that the suspect had been living out of his vehicle.

Wednesday's shooting revived debate about gun rights in America. Virginia's Democratic governor, Terry McAuliffe, urged gun control measures.

Scalise has been a strong opponent of gun control measures.

Hodgkinson had raged against Trump on social media and was a member of anti-Republican groups on Facebook including, "The Road to Hell Is Paved With Republicans," "Terminate The Republican Party," and "Donald Trump is not my President," a search of his Facebook profile showed.

As businessman Trump rose to become the Republican nominee in the 2016 presidential election, his brash style and outspoken views on immigration and other policies led to mass protests, including on the weekend of his inauguration in January.
ADDRESS
Editor : A.H.M Moazzem Hossain
Published by the Editor for International Publications Limited from Tropicana Tower (4th floor), 45, Topkhana Road, GPO Box : 2526 Dhaka- 1000 and printed by him from City Publishing House Ltd., 1 RK Mission Road, Dhaka-1000.
Telephone : PABX : 9553550 (Hunting), 9513814, 7172017 and 7172012 Fax : 880-2-9567049
Email : editor@thefinancialexpress-bd.com, fexpress68@gmail.com
Copyright © 2017. All rights reserved
Powered by : orangebdlogo
close