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Tyson Foods Lobbyist Condition Critical Following Virginia Shooting

Tyson Foods

Springdale-based Tyson Foods has confirmed that one of the victims of a shooting incident in Alexandria, Virginia this morning is Matt Mika, its Director of Government Relations.  The attack also injured Louisiana Congressman Steve Scalise (R-Jefferson), a Congressional aide and two Capitol police officers.

Mika is hospitalized in critical condition at George Washington University Hospital, according to his friend, former Michigan Congressman David Palsrok.  Mika's parents also released a statement confirming that he is in critical condition as he undergoes surgery for multiple gunshot wounds.  

They are on their way from East Lansing, Michigan to Washington DC to be with their son.

Mika was practicing for a charity baseball game at Nationals Park set for tomorrow when the incident occurred.  The suspect is  James Hodgkinson, a 66-year-old home inspector from Illinois. He died from wounds sustained at the scene.

According to his social media writings, he was vehement critic of President Trump and supporter of former candidate and current U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vermont), who quickly condemned the violence.

Hodgkinson was brought to the same hospital where Mika is undergoing surgery.  He died a short time later from bullet wounds.

According to his LinkedIn profile, Mika has been with Tyson since January 2011.  He describes his position online as Director of Government Relations, and his job as "handling both state and federal issues, including issues related to the Farm Bill and the Committees on Agriculture."  He previously worked for two other members of congress and volunteered in Michigan political campaigns.  Friends said he loves to play baseball in his spare time. 

Credit Facebook
The suspect, James Hodgkinson, in a photo found on his Facebook page.

Ann Kenda joined Arkansas Public Media in January 2017 from Sudbury, Massachusetts. She is a graduate of Syracuse University and previously worked in public radio, commercial radio and newspaper in Massachusetts and Rhode Island. She focuses on health, justice, education and energy as part of the Arkansas Public Media team. Her stories can be found on the airwaves, and social media.
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