Wife: Man who shot congressman wanted to work on tax policy

Malcolm Fuller
June 18, 2017

About 15 to 25 people were at Simpson Field in Alexandria for the baseball practice when the gunman opened fire, eyewitnesses said.

Doctors said Friday that Scalise had a second surgery on Thursday and although he remains in critical condition, his condition has improved.

When asked why he left and why he went to the Washington D.C. area specifically, Hodgkinson said her husband wanted to "work on taxes" with government officials, with a goal of changing the tax brackets. They said he told his wife earlier this week he was heading back to IL; he canceled his YMCA membership a day before the shooting; and had talked to a local garage about getting his van ready for the trip.

"I had no idea this was going to happen and I don't know what to say about it". "He was just a very calm, rational person, I thought", he said. "I can not believe it", she said. "There's nothing I could do about it".

Mark wrote that "the 66-year-old Belleville, Illinois, man owned a home inspection business and appeared to be a fervent supporter of progressive politics and a Trump critic".

"I just want you to all go away and leave my neighbors in peace", she said. Vice President Mike Pence earlier on Thursday said he visited MedStar Washington Hospital Center, where Scalise was being treated.

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Mr Farron has faced strong criticism for his views on abortion after he previously claimed it was "wrong". Mr Farron said he wanted to "revive the role" to give the party "another powerful voice".

The local connection to the shooting at a congressional baseball practice in Alexandria, Virginia, shocked most everyone in Belleville this week.

James Hodgkinson was a regular editorial contributor to the Belleville News Democrat newspaper, complaining about taxes and urging higher taxes on the rich. In 2006, Hodgkinson was "observed throwing" his daughter "around the bedroom", a police report said. The weapons had been legally purchased, the Federal Bureau of Investigation reported.

Police said it was unclear whether James Hodgkinson planned to target the lawmakers on his list, which included Reps. A single shot left Scalise, 51, with a shattered bone in his left hip and internal injuries that caused severe bleeding.

Former congressional staffer Matt Mika was shot multiple times in the chest and arm and "requires assistance to breathe", according to his family.

As we reported yesterday, Democrats in Congress have graciously reached out to Republicans, starting with praying for them Wednesday morning and joining them in prayer at the Congressional baseball game yesterday.

Scalise, as the third-ranking member of the U.S. House of Representatives, had a capitol police detail with him at the practice.

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