U.S.

Shooting At GOP Baseball Practice Seems To Have Been Spontaneous, FBI Says

Shooting At GOP Baseball Practice Seems To Have Been Spontaneous, FBI Says

A gunman acted alone when he shot and wounded a top US Republican politician and four other people on a baseball field in northern Virginia, the Federal Bureau of Investigation has said.

Leaders of the FBI's Washington field office will discuss their investigative findings at a news conference Wednesday.

The 66-year old James T. Hodgkinson from Belleville shot and injured Steve Scalise House Majority Whip including two Capitol police officers. The hospital listed Scalise in serious condition on Saturday, but showing signs of improvement.

Scalise's condition was upgraded earlier this week.

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

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During his concert on Tuesday, Bono said he was "grateful" Scalise (R-La.) and aides survived the shooting last week when a gunman opened fire on the lawmakers who were practicing for congressional GOP baseball game in Northern Virginia.

Hogkinson was an unemployed home inspector from Belleville, Illinois, who frequently railed against Republicans in letters to the editor and angry social media posts.




The FBI said that on June 12, a family member asked Hodgkinson in a text message to return home to IL.

In March, Hodgkinson left IL and drove to Alexandria, Virginia, where he lived in his van in a YMCA parking lot.

Last week, a law enforcement source told CNN that a list of names - including some Republican members of Congress - was found with the Alexandria shooter.

Tim Slater, the special agent in charge of the FBI's Washington Field Office Criminal Division, said Hodgkinson was "struggling in all kinds of different ways" at the time of the shooting.

Hodgkinson visited Sen. Bernie Sanders' office sometime between April 15 and April 26, Slater said, adding that he did not know whether Hodgkinson - an ardent Sanders supporter - met with the senator. Another laptop, a cell phone and a digital camera were found in Hodgkinson's vehicle following the shooting.

Slater said Hodgkinson did not have a history of mental illness, but was known to have an anger management problem and was taking prescription drugs. Slater declined to say who the six members of Congress were, but previous reports have said the list included Rep. Mo Brooks, R-Ala.; Rep. Jeff Duncan, R-S.C.; and Rep. Trent Franks, R-Ariz.

When the unit was searched, authorities found components for the SKS rifle, a receipt for a November 2016 gun purchase and 200 rounds of ammunition. Hodgkinson, armed with an assault-style rifle and handgun, was fatally wounded in an exchange of gunfire with the two officers and other local police in what Alexandria Police Chief Mike Brown described as "a combat situation". The FBI did not say what the response from the family member was.


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