tv ABC World News With David Muir ABC June 14, 2017 6:30pm-7:00pm EDT
tonight from washington, the horrifying moment. new video of the gunfire on the ball field. members of congress the intended targets. the moment when the gun shots began. gunman opening fire on lawmakers and staff congressman steve scalise is in critical condition. two wounded capitol hill police officers taking down the gunman. president trump addressing the nation. tonight, what we have learned about the gunman. the 66-year-old building inspector, a husband and bernie sanders supporter. his rage on social media about the president also breaking tonight the deadly shooting rampage at u.p.s. an employee opening fire after
showing up for work and the horrifying scene in london. the high-rise up in flames. the death toll rising tonight. >> announcer: this is a special edition of "world news tonight" with david muir. reporting tonight from washington. good evening on this wednesday night. we're back at the capitol in washington tonight because of that awful scene that played out this morning. as lawmakers were practicing for an annual tradition, the congressional baseball game when a gunman opened fire. it was not long before the gunman allegedly asked, are they democrats or republicans? he was told they're republicans. five people were hit. including congressman steve scalise, part of the house leadership. tonight he's in critical condition. authorities now say james hodgkinson was the attacker, the husband and building inspector from illinois.
tonight, he's now dead. and we begin here with abc's david kerley at the scene not far from here, in alexandria, virginia. >> reporter: batting practice -- shattered by shots fired, large caliber, 50 or more witnesses say, as this man ducks for cover. but this team includes 20 members of congress. >> hey, is that guy on the field okay? is he okay? >> you can see several people crowding around the player on the field. >> there's also a victim down in the baseball field. >> reporter: that victim, congressman steve scalise, shot in the hip, medevaced off the field, he's in critical condition, his family heading to visit him. it was his capitol police detail, two agents, who return fire. the shooter, 66-year-old james hodgkinson, an unemployed illinois man who had reportedly, been in the washington area for a couple months.
the members of congress were preparing for the annual congressional charity baseball game, two members left before the shooting and approached by the gunman. >> there was an individual, middle-aged, caucasian male that asked us, you know, "hey, you know, is that republicans? democrats? you know, what?" we were, like, "republicans." and he kind of turned and went towards the field. >> reporter: just after 7:00 am, hodgkinson opens fire through a fence near the third base dugout. the number three man in house leadership, scalise, from louisiana, is playing second base and is hit. by a bullet. >> we need medics. we've got a suspect shooting. >> reporter: members of congress forced to flee. senator rand paul ducking behind a tree, as others are still on field. >> i said do you want to try to get out and all of a sudden, he was up and he was over the 20-foot fence in about two seconds, and i never seen anybody climb a fence that fast in my life. >> reporter: others run to first base dugout, as the shooter is
on the move. representative joe is there with his two sons. >> reporter: his security detail also along that first baseline. a gun battle with the suspect from behind an suv according to witnesses. both offersers are injured. >> i thought we're all going to have to run out of the dugout, but soon after that they took him down. >> reporter: within minutes, local police join in the gun battle. the gunman is down at 7:14 a.m. >> he was very calm. he was just walking and shooting as if it was just like he was practicing. >> reporter: in all, four shot. the congressman, one of the two officers, a staffer and two oth others injured. the gun battle not confined to the field, car windows, and businesses, the local ymca, shattered by bullets. owen britton was walking out of that "y." >> he was crouched behind a
wooden structure. >> reporter: two dozen atf agents and fbi teams have descended on the scene, gathering evidence. as we see the evidence, a baseball glove left behind, of the panic in the ball park. >> david kerley joins us live tonight from that baseball field in alexandria. david, we just saw authorities there on the scene. still a heavy presence at this hour? >> reporter: yeah, we just saw five agents crisscrossing the outfield looking for bullets imbedded in the ground. the fbi put out a poster asking for more information about the assailant who fired these weapo weapons. david. >> david kerley leading us off tonight. as you heard david mentioned just a short time before we came on the air the fbi putting out this bulletin. they want to know more about the suspect. he was from illinois. a bernie sanders supporter and
he didn't hide his strong political views on social media, particularly when it came to president trump. here's pierre thomas tonight. >> reporter: police today racing to the home of james hodgkinson in a desperate search for clues about the would-be mass murderer, killed in a shootout with police. trying to find a motive for a man who had strident political beliefs, but who no one knew would explode into a barrage of gunfire. in the 66-year-old's hometown in southwestern illinois, shock. >> i mean, he was in a few fights and stuff like that, but nothing that would demonstrate violence as far as what he did. >> reporter: tonight, the fbi focused on these posts portraying a deep hatred for republicans, even calling president trump a "traitor." "trump has destroyed our democracy. it's time to destroy trump and co." and he posted a cartoon critical of congressman steve scalise, who he allegedly shot today.
he joined anti-republican facebook groups, including one dubbed "terminate the republican party." his now-removed facebook page showing his ardent support of bernie sanders, the vermont senator confirming today hodgkinson volunteered for the campaign. >> i have just been informed that the alleged shooter at the republican baseball practice this morning is someone who apparently volunteered on my presidential campaign. i am sickened by this despicable act. >> reporter: he had no love for hillary clinton either, posting -- "a nomination for hillary equals a win for trump." but there were run-ins with the law, a history of petty violations, and hints that violence could be coming. in april 2006, police responded to a domestic incident in which hodgkinson was accused of striking a woman and hitting a neighbor in the face with a shotgun, but the misdemeanor charges were later dropped. then, just two months ago, police were called to his illinois home after neighbors complained about dozens of shots being fired.
>> i said i'm going to call the sheriff and report him. i said he's not stopping. >> he was only given a warning. but his life was apparently start to unravel. his wife told us today he left for alexandria, virginia, two months ago. he was allegedly living out of a gym bag. he would stop by this bar, about eight blocks from the shooting site. >> i remember him being extremely quiet, didn't make eye contact. would be staring, you know, when i was looking away or looking out the window a lot. >> let's get to pierre thomas, we know this is still a very active investigation. fbi agents as we saw earlier on that baseball field late today. authorities are coming through his records and contacts to make sure he acted alone sf. >> david, they want to know who he's been talking to, what he's been reading, where he's traveled. at this point they believe he acted alone. they want to be absolutely
certain. nothing will be left to chance. >> pierre thomas, thank you many lawmakers diving into the dugout on that baseball field. others trying to get to congressman scalise. who began to crawl further into the outfield. >> reporter: you suddenly heard the gunshots. >> i heard one single, loud pop. i didn't realize at first it was a gunshot. very shortly thereafter, there was a barrage of shots. it was sickening, it was saddening and there were a lot of shots. easily 30 to 50 maybe more. >> reporter: and obviously, everybody was at the ball field today. there is really little place to turn, except for the dugout, which is where you dove? >> we hit the ground. i found out later sadly that the shooter came around and must have come right past us because we were lying by the fence. so i was very fortunate not to have been shot. i did end up in the dugout and that's where i got injured and
other people got injured. >> reporter: because so many people simply dove in? >> just dove in. one of our members broke his ankle diving in just to get out of the barrage of gunfire. but the capitol police did a tremendous job. i want the american people to know that, but for the fact that the capitol police who returned fire and protected us, there would have been a lot more people severely injured. >> reporter: and they fought back even though they were wounded. >> that's correct. >> reporter: incredible thing. the congressman who was on the field, congressman scalise. he was trying to crawl out further on the field to find some sort of safety from the gunman. >> yes, it's very sad. we had other people shot there, one other man got shot in the chest he's has surgery, two surgeries, when i got in the dugout i saw another gentleman who had been shot in the leg. it's just a very, very sad day. >> a sad day indeed. the shooting sending shock waves through the capitol right here behind me. we saw security tighter than ever. in the hallways and meeting
rooms today, members of congress has the rhetoric gone too far. where are we now as a nation? abc's mary bruce also here on capitol hill. >> reporter: congressman steve scalise was looking forward to the big game. >> i couldn't even make my high school team. but, you know, kind of bloomed later in life. >> reporter: the louisiana lawmaker, a proud ragin' cajuns fan, calling his wife before heading into surgery. also hit, zack barth, a congressional aide from texas. posting that he was in the hospital but "okay." and lobbyist matt mika, one of the team's coaches, shot in the chest. tonight in critical condition. and those two heroic officers, crystal griner, shot in the ankle. and david bailey, a nine-year veteran of the capitol police, suffering minor injuries. both there to protect scalise, but protecting so many more. >> scalise gets a security because he's in leadership. had scalise not been there i think it would have been a massacre today because there would have been no way to defend yourself. >> reporter: congressman rodney davis of illinois, the team's catcher, was at bat when
shots rang out. we show him the shooter's photo. >> it makes me nauseous to find out he may be from my home state. the hate just over political differences has ratcheted up to where it becomes entertainment value, and that has to stop. it's my breaking point. i'm going to do everything i can to make it stop. >> reporter: and today moments of unity. that image in the dugout, the democratic team praying for the republican colleagues, and in the halls of congress. >> an attack on one of us is an attack on all of us. [ applause ] >> mary, both we heard that often today. so many here on capitol hill do believe we have reached a breaking point with the rhetoric in this country. you've learned that the congressional baseball game will go on tomorrow. >> david, that show of unity will extend to the baseball diamond tomorrow night. democrats and republicans feel it sends a strong message that
americans will not back down to fear. one republican at that field today, they all agree they need to play ball. david. >> mary bruce just behind us at the capitol. president trump speaking to the nation, acknowledging the deep divide. urging calm today. i want to bring in cecilia vega. this was a bit of a test of sort for the president after a shooting like this. >> we may have our differences, but we do well in times like these to remember that everyone who serves in our nation's capitol is here because above all they love our country. we can all agree that we are blessed to be americans. that our children deserve to grow up in a nation of safety and peace. >> cecilia, you heard from those lawmakers in the report just beforehand here on the hill. one told me we have in fact reached that breaking point.
americans have to come together despite their political views, is the white house aware of that. >> they certainly are and in this call of unity is stretching from the white house down to capitol hill and frankly both sides of the aisle. the question right now is, this is coming at time in terms of deep division in the country. >> cecilia, as the president deals with tone, he's also dealing with a new headline breaking late today, the washington post now reporting that robert mueller the special counsel could be investigating the president for possible obstruction of justice. >> essentially the president trump is now part of this investigation personally, they're looking into possible obstruction of justice. former fbi director james comey just kre lently testified the president he was not under investigation. under his tenure. we did just get a statement from
the president's legal team, they called this a leak that's outrageous and illegal. >> cecilia from the white house, thank you. we do move on to other news here this evening. the other developing headline a deadly workplace rampage in san francisco. a u.p.s. employee opening fire on fellow drivers. here's kayna whitworth. >> reporter: the call came in at 8:55 a.m. >> possible active shooter. the suspect is an employee. >> reporter: a u.p.s. employee dressed for work, opening fire at the morning drivers meeting, killing his co-workers. >> it was pop pop pop, about seven shots. and then he fired at least five to six more outside. >> i have two people shot. cpr in progress. i need two ambulances here now. >> reporter: employees rushed to safety. area residents ordered to shelter in place, one snapping this photo of workers on the roof, hands in the air. >> they were escaping to get away from the gunman. >> reporter: police closing in
with armored vehicles as they search for the suspect, and secure the building. david, five workers were shot three were killed, before the gunman took his own life, david? there's still much more ahead on "world news tonight" this wednesday -- the alert of a police nationwide manhunt for two dangerous fugitives. the escaped prisoners accused of killing two guards. also much more on that high-rise apartment building up in flames, the death toll rising and we have learned of the mother who dropped her baby nearly ten stories to safety. then the passenger plane in this country, cancelling its flights just moments before takeoff, jet fuel pouring from the wing. we'll be right back. even a coupe soup. [woman] so beautiful. [man] beautiful just like you. [woman] oh, why thank you.
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particularized this country has become. >> what's sad today is the polarization between the two parties. just because people think a different way politically is not a reason to disavow them. i hope that out of this tragedy we can bring together some unity, some common ground. >> reporter: tomorrow night here the game will be go on. staffers who work were congressman scalise, he always wore louisiana state gear to every practice and every game. tomorrow, they'll be wearing lsu baseball shirts as a salute to him.
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