Trump-hating Democrat and Bernie Sanders supporter, 66, opened fire on Republican lawmakers in Illinois, leaving five injured

Trump-hating Democrat and Bernie Sanders supporter, 66, opened fire on Republican lawmakers in Illinois, leaving five injured, by Jennifer Smith.

The gunman who was killed by cops after opening fire on a Republican congressional baseball practice on Wednesday, the president’s 71st birthday, was a Trump-hating Democrat and Bernie Sanders supporter with a long history of violence.

James T. Hodgkinson, 66, from Belleville, Illinois, was killed by Capitol Police after firing up to 100 rounds from an assault rifle at a baseball park in Alexandria, Virginia, leaving five injured including House Majority Whip Steve Scalise at 7am on Wednesday. …

Two Capitol Police officers were shot as they bravely returned fire on Hodgkinson while the lawmakers scrambled across the field to safety. Congressional staffer Zachary Barth and lobbyist Matt Mika were also shot but both are expected to recover.

The shooter in 2012

Hodgkinson was a staunch Sanders supporter and campaigned for the left-wing senator to get the Democratic nomination for president last year. He ranted against President Trump on social media and had previously described The Rachel Maddow Show as his favorite thing on TV. The married union tradesman threatened to ‘destroy’ the president, whom he called a ‘traitor’ on social media — but was not known to Secret Service. …

He wrote frequent letters to his local paper in Illinois in which he complained about income inequality and compared the state of the economy to the Great Depression long before President Trump ever launched his political career. …

Sen. Rand Paul, who was also there but as not hurt, described the scene as a ‘killing field’. Rep. Mark Walker said the gunman seemed intent on murdering ‘as many Republicans as possible.’ …

Scalise was shot in the hip and taken to hospital by air ambulance shortly after the attack. Alabama Rep. Mo Brooks tried to stop the bleeding from his wound as Sen. Paul, a trained doctor, cut his baseball uniform to examine the injury.

Trump pleads for unity after GOP baseball shooting as Donald Jr. says attack proves why jokes about his father’s assassination AREN’T funny.

He was referring to New York’s Public Theatre and its current production of Julius Caesar in which the doomed emperor is portrayed as his father. The play has sparked outrage and accusations that its directors are glorifying violence against the president.

It comes after the comedian Kathy Griffin’s shocking participation in a photo-shoot in which she appeared to be holding a fake representation of the president’s severed head. She apologized for the stunt after receiving angry backlash.

Shooting At GOP Baseball Practice Latest In Pattern Of Violence Against Republicans, by Peter Hassoon.

If not for the attendance of Scalise — whose leadership position comes with a security detail — “it would have been a massacre,” said Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul, who managed to avoid getting shot. “I felt like I was back in Iraq but without my weapon,” said Ohio Rep. Brad Wenstrup, a former combat surgeon.

hat-tip Scott of the Pacific, Charles