Baseball shooter had list of 6 names

Blake Casey
June 23, 2017

Representative Steve Scalise of Louisiana, the No. 3 Republican in the House, was gravely wounded after a rifle bullet tore through his hip.

Perhaps the most suspicious of his pre-attack activities was the attention he paid to a local storage unit he had rented in Alexandria, where investigators recovered more than 200 rounds of ammunition and additional components for the 7.62-caliber SKS rifle he wielded during the assault.

James Hodgkinson, the 66-year-old who opened fire at a Republican congressional baseball practice in Virginia on June 14, had "an anger management problem", the Federal Bureau of Investigation said on Wednesday.

New details from the FBI investigation into accused Congressional shooter James Hodkinson. Hodgkinson also had email communications with the two USA senators for Illinois - Tammy Duckworth and Dick Durbin.

The attack at the baseball field appeared to be more spontaneous than planned out, Slater said.

Tim Slater, the special agent in charge of the FBI's Washington field office, said Hodgkinson was known to have "an anger management problem".

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"I know that he was struggling in all kinds of different ways, but I do not know the specifics of why he intended, or his motive at the time", Slater said".

Early on June 14, Hodgkinson sprayed an Alexandria, Virginia baseball field with gunfire, wounding number three House Republican Steve Scalise, a US Capitol Police officer, a congressional aide and a lobbyist before police shot the assailant. He was also in email communication with Illinois Sens.

The FBI said Hodgkinson arrived in Alexandria sometime in March and participated in a demonstration over tax reform on Tax Day. Four other people were wounded in the incident. "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". Two days before the shooting, Hodgkinson messaged a family member seeking to return home, Slater said. Between April and June, Hodgkinson visited the storage unit 43 times, sometimes twice a day.

Hodgkinson's web-search history revealed "only a cursory search" of two of the members of Congress on the list.

"I think he was struggling in a lot of aspects of his life", Slater said. "The morning of the shooting, a witness reported Hodgkinson asking them, 'Is this the Republican or Democrat baseball team?' When the witness responded that it was a Republican event, Hodgkinson reportedly remained at the baseball field". Another U.S. Capitol Police officer was struck by shrapnel, and Rep. Roger Williams (R-Tex.) injured his ankle while helping others take cover. Hodgkinson's posts did not include "threats or references to Members of Congress or the Congressional baseball game".

Hodgkinson left his home in Belleville, Ill., in March and drove to the Alexandria area, where he then lived in his auto at a YMCA across the street from the baseball field.