New York’s Conservative Party blamed this morning’s shooting of House Majority Whip Stephen Scalise on partisan media and anti-Republican “hate.”
Scalise’s office released a statement saying the Louisiana lawmaker is in stable condition after sustaining a shot to the hip while practicing with fellow GOP officials in Alexandria, Virginia for the annual congressional baseball game scheduled for tomorrow. The Conservative Party shared a Fox News interview with Florida Congressman Ronald DeSantis on its Facebook page—in which DeSantis recounted how an unknown man had asked him the partisan affiliation of the politicians on the field shortly before gunfire erupted.
The right-of-center party, an influential cross-endorser that holds Row C on the New York State ballot, appeared to contrast the attack with liberal calls that religious bakeries serve gay couples and that Southern states dismantle Confederate monuments.
“The man who tried to kill congressmen practicing for a charity baseball game had asked whether the players were Repubs or Dems. When told they were Repubs, the shooter returned a few moments later and opened fire with a rifle,” the social media post reads. “This is what media bully fueled hate looks like, not wedding cakes and 100-year-old statues.”
It is unclear at present whether in fact the man DeSantis spoke with was the shooter. Authorities transported five people in all—including the gunman, an aide to Scalise and a Capitol Police officer serving as part of the whip’s security detail—to local hospitals.
Trump revealed that the attacker died from wounds incurred in the encounter. The Washington Post has identified him as James T. Hodgkinson of Illinois.
Hodgkinson was reportedly active in Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders’ presidential campaign. Sanders denounced his late supporter’s violent actions on the Senate floor.
The Conservative Party is among the strongest opponents of New York’s strict gun control laws.
Updated to include details about Hodgkinson and his passing, and Sanders’ tweet.