Gunman who shot congressman had no target in mind

Violet Tucker
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.

Slater said Hodgkinson legally purchased both the guns he used in the attack - the handgun in March 2003 and the rifle in November 2016, after the presidential election.

During an update on their investigation Tuesday morning, officials said while James Hodgkinson had posted anti-republican views online, he didn't make threats against members of Congress or the baseball game. "We also assessed there was no nexus to terrorism".

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

He exited his auto last Wednesday carrying two weapons - the SKS rifle that had been modified to use a detachable magazine and a folding stock, and a 9mm handgun in a holster - that had been bought legally, Slater said.

The FBI offered little insight into the gunman's motive other than to say 66-year-old James Thomas Hodgkinson "was struggling with a lot of aspects of his life", said Timothy Slater, an FBI special agent-in-charge at the Washington field office, during a press conference. The FBI said it does not consider the photos "surveillance of intended targets", but officials cautioned that they are still examining Hodgkinson's activities. He underwent several surgeries at MedStar Washington Hospital Center. Bernie Sanders and was "in communication" with offices of his IL senators.

The FBI so far has not found evidence that Hodgkinson searched the Internet for the baseball practice or the charity baseball game, Slater said. U.S. Capitol Police and other officers returned fire and killed the gunman.

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The FBI found a laptop computer, a cell phone, and a digital camera in Hodgkinson's vehicle.

After the shooting, investigators searched Hodgkinson's home in IL and a storage facility in Alexandria he began renting in April.

For most of that window in April, Congress was not in session, and a Sanders spokesman said Wednesday that Hodgkinson did not meet with the senator. They did not offer a clear answer on Wednesday and said they continue to investigate. "However, a review of the shooter's web searches in the months prior to the shooting revealed. a cursory search of two of the members". Hodgkinson then remained at the baseball field.

On the morning of the shooting, Hodgkinson approached a witness near the baseball field, asking, "Is this the Republican or Democrat baseball team?"

Hodgkinson's social media accounts indicated strong anti-Republican views and an Federal Bureau of Investigation agent said on Wednesday items found on his body included a piece of paper with the names of six members of Congress but no context attached.

Officials also said Hodgkinson had kept a storage locker in Alexandria and visited it 43 times between April and June, usually between 6am and 7am At times, he went to the unit daily and sometimes more than once.

Other reports by MaliBehiribAe

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