According to reports, an anti-Trump, Republican-hating Bernie Sanders supporter with a history of domestic violence has been identified as the gunman who opened fire on Republican members of Congress Wednesday morning at a baseball field in Alexandria, Virginia.
James T. Hodgkinson, 66, from Belleville, Illinois, was shot by police at the scene and later died at a local hospital, President Donald Trump said. Four other people, including a congressman, were shot, but none were killed. Lawmakers have praised the actions of police in stopping the shooter, preventing a “massacre.”
A motive for the shooting is not yet known, but here’s what we do know about Hodgkinson:
Hodgkinson’s Facebook page shows he was someone who had a high interest in politics, who supported Bernie Sanders during the presidential election and expressed anger with President Donald Trump and Republican Congressmen.
James Thomas Hodgkinson’s Facebook page features a banner image of Senator Bernie Sanders and a profile picture about Democratic Socialism. His profile picture says, “Democratic Socialism explained in 3 words: ‘We the People’ Since 1776.”
He was a prolific Facebook user, with two pages, including several political posts, expressing anger in recent weeks with the Trump administration and over several years with Republican politicians. He also expressed support for Bernie Sanders and progressive politics, and hatred for Hillary Clinton.
“Bernie is a Progressive, while Hillary is Republican Lite,” he wrote.
In another post he wrote, “#ScreamAsOne #NeverVotingHill,” and “You’ve been warned DNC. I will NEVER vote Hillary. A nomination for Hillary equals a win for Trump. #NOTWithHer.”
On March 22, he wrote, “Trump is a Traitor. Trump Has Destroyed Our Democracy. It’s Time to Destroy Trump & Co.”
On a second Facebook page in his name, Hodgkinson wrote, “I Want to Say Mr. President, for being an ass hole you are Truly the Biggest Ass Hole We Have Ever Had in the Oval Office.”
On June 12, he wrote, “Make America Great Again, Resign!,” along with a meme of Trump with the words, “All in all it’s just another prick in the wall.” He also wrote, “Trump is Guilty & Should Go to Prison for Treason” and “Trump is a Mean, Disgusting Person.”
Hodgkinson campaigned for Sanders in Iowa while the Vermont lawmaker was running for the Democratic presidential nomination last year, the Washington Post reports.
In August 2016, after Sanders had lost the Democratic nomination, he posted on Facebook, “I want Bernie to Win the White House,” along with a petition calling for Sanders to join the Green Party.
He wrote, “Bernie is the Only Candidate in Decades that Really Cares about the Working Class. … Bernie is a Candidate of a Lifetime. We Need Bernie in the White House. Bernie is the Only Candidate Talking about the Issues.”
Just four days before the shooting, Sanders delivered an anti-Republican speech in Illinois. Heavy was there, and you can watch part of that speech below:
According to the New York Times, his brother, Michael Hodgkinson, said James went to Washington D.C. “totally out of the blue,” to protest the Trump administration and Republicans. “I know he wasn’t happy with the way things were going, the election results and stuff,” Michael said.