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People stand near the scene of a shooting at the practice of the Republican congressional baseball team at Eugene Simpson Stadium Park in Alexandria, Virginia, USA, 14 June 2017. EPA/SHAWN THEW
People stand near the scene of a shooting at the practice of the Republican congressional baseball team at Eugene Simpson Stadium Park in Alexandria, Virginia, USA, 14 June 2017. EPA/SHAWN THEW

Trump: Virginia park shooting suspect died of gunshot wounds

The suspect in a shooting Wednesday morning at a baseball field in Alexandria, Virginia, a suburb of the United States capital, has died of his wounds.

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The suspect in a shooting Wednesday morning at a baseball field in Alexandria, Virginia, a suburb of the United States capital, has died of his wounds, US President Donald Trump said in a brief statement to the media.
 
The suspect, identified by the media as 66-year-old James T. Hodgkinson of Illinois, died of his injuries after wounding Rep. Steve Scalise (R-LA) and at least four other people, including two US Capital Police officers, Trump said at the White House.
 
The office of Rep. Roger Williams (R-Texas), who was also taking part in the practice, had said earlier that a member of his staff had been struck by one of the bullets and was receiving medical attention.
 
Trump praised the actions of the two US Capitol Police officers who were at the scene as part of the security detail for Scalise, the majority whip in the House of Representatives.
 
He said they "took down the gunman despite sustaining gunshot wounds." Eyewitnesses said the assailant fired dozens of shots during the incident.
 
The shooting occurred at around 7 am at Eugene Simpson Stadium Park while Republican members of Congress were practicing for an annual congressional charity baseball game scheduled for Thursday.
 
The president described the shooting as a "very, very brutal assault." He also hailed Scalise as a "very good friend ... a patriot and a fighter."
 
Postings by the suspect on social media indicate that he was a supporter of a candidate in the 2016 presidential election - Democratic Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont -, was extremely angry at Trump and may have carried out the shooting for political reasons.
 
"Trump is a Traitor. Trump has Destroyed Our Democracy. It's Time To Destroy Trump & Co," Hodgkinson wrote on Facebook.
 
Authorities said the suspect used an M-4 assault rifle and a handgun in the attack.
 
The FBI, which has taken charge of the investigation, said it was still too soon to know whether the attack was politically motivated and if the lawmakers had been directly targeted.
 
All of the politicians at the practice were Republicans; a Democratic practice for Thursday's game was taking place at the same time a few miles away.
 
The special agent in charge, Tim Slater, said the FBI was exploring all angles.
 
The office of Scalise, a congressman from the southeastern US state of Louisiana, said earlier Wednesday morning that the lawmaker had been shot in the hip, was in stable condition and was undergoing surgery.
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