NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) – News 2 has confirmed that Rep. Scott DesJarlais’ name was on a list that was found with the man who opened fire on a congressional baseball practice last week.
Officials said DesJarlais is now working with Capitol Police, congressional leadership, and his staff to review and improve safety measures.
News 2 spoke with the congressman on Monday, who said he was surprised to find he was James T. Hodgkinson’s list.
“And I was really curious to see who else would’ve been on that list. But at that point, the shooter had been killed, so I didn’t feel particularly threatened by that,” DesJarlais added.
He continued, “But it just tells all of us that we need to be careful, that there’s people who disagree with us and, you know, sometimes they disagree to the point that they’re willing to take lives and sacrifice their own, as this guy did.”
The shooting, which injured House GOP Whip Steve Scalise and others, happened last Wednesday morning. Scalise remains hospitalized and has since undergone surgery.
Hodgkinson was shot and killed by police. Authorities said he was armed with a rifle and lots of ammo at the time. Authorities said he had a history of anti-GOP activity.
“When I was flying back from D.C. after this happened, I was reflecting on a lot of things and concerned about Steve Scalise and the others who were injured and shot, and trying to understand, you know,what would make somebody get to the point that they’re willing to do harm to others, to kill other people for their political beliefs,” said Rep. DesJarlais.
The congressman said Hodgkinson “had beliefs that are probably 180-degrees from mine on several issues,” saying he saw in at least one report the gunman may have a health condition and was concerned about the Republican health care bill.
“You know, there’s been rhetoric out there that our bill will kill people. I’ve had people post on my Facebook the blood will be on my hands, and honestly, I want a health care plan that takes care of people like him, and I’d like to think that if we can have a civil dialogue, he might even like what I had to say,” DesJarlais continued.
The investigation into the shooting is ongoing. Click here for complete coverage.