Ohio Congressman misses GOP baseball shooting by minutes - WFMJ.com News weather sports for Youngstown-Warren Ohio

Ohio Congressman misses GOP baseball shooting by minutes

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Congressman Bill Johnson Congressman Bill Johnson
ALEXANDRIA, Va -

Five people are recovering after a man with a rifle opened fire Wednesday morning on members of Congress practicing for a charity baseball game.

One of the people wounded was House Majority Whip Steve Scalise, who has now been listed in critical condition.

President Donald Trump has confirmed that the suspect is dead. He’s been identified as James Hodgkinson, a 66-year-old man from Belleville, Illinois.

Hodgkinson has a history of arrests in recent years, including arrests for battery, resisting arrest, and drunk driving.

Hodgkinson reportedly asked GOP Representatives Ron DeSantis and Jeff Duncan if the people practicing were Republicans or Democrats.

A Facebook page with Hodgkinson's name shows he was very supportive of former Democratic Presidential Candidate Bernie Sanders.

The page also contained many posts mocking President Donald Trump, and he belonged to a Facebook group called "Terminate the Republican Party."

An Ohio Congressman was among those practicing on that same field Wednesday morning.

Representative Bill Johnson said he’s thankful for the quick action taken by police.

Johnson said he pulled out of the baseball field parking lot only five to 10 minutes before he learned about the shootings.

“The reaction of the Capitol Hill police prevented what could have been a massacre,” Johnson said. “We are out there at a baseball field in Alexandria totally exposed.

After learning his closest friend in Congress was wounded, Johnson said he's thankful police prevented even more carnage.

He told police he saw a man getting in and out of a van in the middle of the road before the gunfire broke out.

While he won't speculate on a motive, Johnson said social media allows the American people to see what happens inside the political and governing arena.

“Some people don’t like what they see,” he said. “They don’t really think about the fact that it’s always been hard to govern.”

Valley Congressman Tim Ryan was practicing with Democrats at a different field in Northeast D.C. Wednesday morning, where they also took shelter immediately.

He said the shootings should start a national conversation.

“My hope is that this will be a wake-up call to both political parties and all Americans to really take down the heat and the rhetoric,” Ryan said.

Ryan said he remains concerned about safety on the job. Senator Sherrod Brown said he's now moving forward without fear.

“Capitol police don’t want us to talk about what our security is,” Brown said. “We’re protected. I feel safe, and I will continue to reach out and talk to people and listen to people.”

As for Johnson, he says he hopes the baseball game can go on as planned, something he knows Scalise would have wanted.

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