The gunman who opened fire on a congressional baseball practice Wednesday morning had approached two GOP lawmakers before the shooting to ask whether it was “Republicans or Democrats” playing on the field, Rep. Ron DeSantis told media on Wednesday.
Rep. Ron DeSantis (R-Fla.) first told media that a man had approached him and Rep. Jeff Duncan (R-SC) to ask the question as the pair were getting into a car.
But it was initially unclear whether the man who approached them was the gunman — DeSantis had not witnessed the shooting firsthand, as he and Duncan had driven away from the baseball practice just minutes before the gunfire broke out.
But when 66-year-old James Hodgkinson of Belleville, Illinois was later identified as the suspected shooter, DeSantis confirmed that Hodgkinson was the same man who had approached him.
“We both believe that that was the guy that has been identified as the shooter — the same guy that came up to our car before we pulled out five, 10 minutes before the shooting this morning,” DeSantis told MSNBC.
Hodgkinson later died of injuries in hospital.
Rep. Steve Scalise, who was shot in the hip, remains in critical condition following surgery.