Online vitriol about the state of affairs in government and the country has become an upsetting norm in the US under President Donald Trump. However, for all the harsh words being exchanged between the major political parties and their respective supporters against each other, the animosity has mostly remained in the realm of words. That is until now.

The morning of Wednesday, on what should have been a routine practise session for an annual baseball game for charity between Democrat and Republican Party members on Capitol Hill turned into a bloody affair when a lone gunman opened fire on the Republican team.

The shooter injured a congressman player, a staffer, a lobbyist bystander and some members of Capitol Police before being shot dead.

Multiple casualties

This shocking incident took place at a baseball diamond in Alexandria, Virginia in the early morn of June 14. While the Republican congressional team was doing drills out in the field, shots rang out from somewhere in the third base dugout. There weren’t a lot of people close together so many of them did not quite realize what was happening until some of the players around the diamond fell down. Among them were Republican Representative Steve Scalise of Louisiana’s 1st district, staff member Zach Barth, Tyson Foods lobbyist Mike Mika, and Capitol Police officers Crystal Griner and David Bailey.

Scalise, who is also House Majority Whip, was shot in the hip resulting in bone fractures, internal organ injury, and serious bleeding. He was taken to the hospital where he is currently in critical condition CNN reported earlier today. Barth was shot by the gunman in the leg while Griner was hit in the ankle while returning fire against the shooter.

Many of the other Republican players managed to flee to cover in the first base dugout until the shooting stopped. Mika was also hospitalized and reported as having just gone through surgery. His condition was also listed as serious.

Possible politically-motivated assault

The lone shooter who attacked the Republican baseball team was identified as 66-year-old James Hodgkinson from Illinois.

Hodgkinson, who had been a volunteer for Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders’ campaign for the 2016 Democratic nomination, who was armed with a Chinese AK variant assault rifle and a 9mm pistol, was identified in eyewitness accounts as having asked a passerby which of the Congressional teams had been practicing in the diamond that morning, shortly before the shooting began. Responding officers of the Capitol Police shot him during his rampage.

While a furor has begun in social media over the notion that Hodgkinson, a known Democratic supporter, had violently attacked members of the Republican Party, the Democratic baseball team who were on a different field, broke off their own practice in order to pray for Rep.

Scalise and the other victims of the shooting. The charity game has also been canceled in light of the incident.