James T. Hodgkinson: Alleged Scalise shooter was Sanders volunteer, wanted to 'tax the rich'
The gunman who opened fire at the congressional baseball practice Wednesday was identified as James T. Hodgkinson of Belleville, Illinois, sources told Fox News. President Trump said later during a news conference that the suspect died from injuries sustained in a shootout with police.
Sen. Bernie Sanders released a statement that said Hodgkinson, 66, “apparently” volunteered for his presidential campaign ahead of the 2016 election.
"I am sickened by this despicable act. Let me be as clear as I can be. Violence of any kind is unacceptable in our society and I condemn this action in the strongest possible terms. Real change can only come about through nonviolent action, and anything else runs against our most deeply held American values,” Sanders said in a statement.
Hodgkinson is listed in state records as the owner of a home inspection business, the Washington Post reported. However, the records show that Hodgkinson’s home inspection license has been expired since at least November 2016. The license has not been renewed.
Hodgkinson was photographed protesting outside a United States Post Office in Belleville on April 17, 2012 while holding a sign that said “tax the rich,” the Associated Press reported.
“Tax the rich like Congress did for 70 years till Reagan’s ‘trickle down,’” the sign read.
The shooting suspect also referenced a desire for heavy taxes on the rich in a “letter to the editor” published in the Belleville News-Democrat on September 12, 2012.
“The best book I’ve read in a while is “Aftershock” by Robert B. Reich. He explains that the lowering of taxes on the richest Americans was a major cause of the Great Depression,” Hodgkinson wrote at the time, adding that more tax brackets for the rich were “what we need today.”
Hodgkinson allegedly targeted Republican congressmen with a rifle Wednesday morning as they practiced for the annual Congressional Baseball Game charity event.