James T. Hodgkinson, the man who shot and wounded House Majority Whip Steve Scalise (R-LA) last Wednesday during the Republican's baseball practice, reportedly went on a long anti-Trump tirade at an auto repair shop near the ball field on the day before the shooting. Hodgkinson, an Illinois native who had been living in his truck in Alexandria during the months leading up to the shooting, was apparently getting his tires inspected to ensure they would be able to survive the trek back to Illinois.
A mechanic said that Hodgkinson's anger about President Donald Trump was "passionate" and that he was more extreme than a mainstream Democratic voter.
"This man was just so passionate and hateful toward (President Donald) Trump," said Crist Dauberman, recounting Hodgkinson's profanity-laden tirade. Among other things, Hodgkinson said Trump had screwed up the country "more than anyone in the history of this country." The Del Ray Service Center is known as a "neutral zone" of sorts when it comes to politics; lawmakers of both parties take their cars there.
"It was more than the average person who had maybe voted for Hillary. This was different. It was deeply rooted to where his whole tone and composure changed. His voice got loud and deep. There was so much anger in it."
Hodgkinson was a former volunteer on Sen. Bernie Sanders' (I-VT) campaign for president. Sanders condemned Hodgkinson after this discovery.
Scalise and lobbyist Matt Mika, who was assisting the team at practice, remain hospitalized in serious condition. Both are expected to make a full recovery. Mika was shot in the chest and arm, and Scalise was shot in the left hip.