The FBI has determined that the targeted shooting of congressional Republicans on a baseball field in 2017 was not an act of domestic terrorism, but rather an attempt by the shooter to commit “suicide by cop”—which is usually drawn out by someone pulling a gun on a cop in the hopes of being fatally shot in return.
“NEWS: The FBI labeled the 2017 baseball field shooting that nearly killed Steve Scalise a ‘suicide by cop,’ a key GOP lawmaker revealed in a little-noticed, pointed exchange with Director WRAY last week,” Politico’s Kyle Cheney reported.
Rep. Brad Wenstrup (R-OH) revealed Thursday during a hearing of the House Intelligence Committee that FBI agents privately briefed the targeted congressional Republicans in 2017 on the controversial determination that the shooting was decidedly a “suicide by cop” incident.
“Much to our shock that day, the FBI concluded that this was a case of the attacker seeking suicide by cop,” said Wenstrup. “Director, you want suicide by cop, you just pull a gun on a cop. It doesn’t take 136 rounds. It takes one bullet. Both the DHS and the (Office of the Director of National Intelligence) published products labeling this attack as a domestic violent extremism event, specifically targeting Republican members of Congress. The FBI did not.”
The FBI director at the time of the determination was Andrew McCabe.
“Rep. Brad Wenstrup, who dodged bullets that day and helped triage injured lawmakers, said the FBI privately briefed them on that conclusion in late 2017. He’s demanding that it reopen its review and declare the incident ‘domestic terrorism,’” Cheney reported. “Wray did not respond to his criticism directly. But multiple other lawmakers, including two Democrats, said they shared Wenstrup’s concerns about the bureau’s conclusion.”
Rep. Steve Scalise (R-LA) was seriously wounded during the 2017 attack, sustaining a gunshot wound to his hip that “traveled across his pelvis, fracturing bones, injuring internal organs, and causing severe bleeding,” according to Scalise’s medical team.
“I was shot by a deranged Leftist who came to the baseball field with a list of Congressional Republicans to kill,” Scalise publicly responded to the FBI conclusion on Wednesday. “This was NOT ‘suicide by cop.’ End of story.”
The shooter was a registered Democrat who had been a former volunteer for Sen. Bernie Sanders’s (I-VT) presidential campaign—and apparently had so much hatred toward his political opponents that he was willing to shoot them. Republican Florida Governor Ron DeSantis stated that he was asked by the would-be shooter before the attack if those on the baseball field were Republicans or Democrats. After DeSantis told him that it was Republicans on the field, the shooter went back to his vehicle.
Additionally, according to a 2017 release from the FBI on the shooting, “a piece of paper that contained the names of six members of Congress” was discovered on the shooter.
“No context was included on this paper, however, a review of [redacted] web searches in the months prior to the shooting revealed only a cursory search of two of those members of Congress,” the release added. “A second document with a rough sketch of several streets in Washington, D.C. was found on Hodgkinson; however, it was not deemed to be of investigative significance.”