Congressional Baseball Shooting Finally Recognized as Terrorism

"...fueled by rage against Republican legislators..."

The FBI may have called it "assault," but a report released by the Virginia state's attorney on Friday came to another conclusion: terrorism.

On June 14, James T. Hodgkinson opened fire on a baseball field in Alexandria, Virginia where Republican members of Congress were practicing for a charity baseball game against their Democrat party counterparts.

In the report, Bryan Porter wrote:

“The evidence in this case establishes beyond a reasonable doubt that the suspect, fueled by rage against Republican legislators, decided to commit an act of terrorism as that term is defined by the Code of Virginia. See Va. Code §18.46.4."

At the time of the shooting, he was found with a list of Republican senators on his body, and the report confirms that he asked two congressmen leaving the field if those practicing were Republicans. Once that was confirmed, he retrieved his weapons from his vehicle. 

“The suspect asked them whether the practice was for the Republican or Democratic team. They responded that it was for the Republican team. The suspect said ‘ok, thanks’ and walked away,” the report states, adding that Hodgkinson then retrieved his guns from his van.

Porter also wrote that Hodgkinson had chosen Simpson field as his target months in advance.

“Media files recovered from the suspect’s phone show video of Simpson Field that was recorded in April 2017. After the incident, several witnesses came forward and reported seeing the suspect walking around Simpson Field in May 2017. From these facts, it may be inferred that the suspect had already selected Simpson Field as a potential target as early as April 2017.”

House Majority Whip Steve Scalise was the most seriously injured in the attack, nearly dying after being shot in the hip. As a member of the party leadership, he had armed security with him that day, without which, the attack would have been far worse. Scalise only returned to Capitol Hill last week after an extended hospitalization. "I'm a living example that miracles really do happen," Scalise said.

It's about time that this attack is being called what it was: terrorism.

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