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

Erika Turner
June 23, 2017

We've learned more today about the man who shot and almost killed Republican Congressman Steve Scalise at a baseball field in Virginia last week. "We also assessed there was no nexus to terrorism".

Slater said Hodgkinson fired at least 50 rounds from the rifle and 10 additional rounds from the handgun before two U.S. Capitol Police officers and Alexandria police returned fire.

Officials also said Hodgkinson had kept a storage locker in Alexandria and visited it 43 times between April and June, usually between 6 a.m. and 7 a.m. On the morning of the shooting, Hodgkinson had asked a witness near the field if it was Democrats or Republicans playing.

The night before the shooting, Hodgkinson looked up driving directions from Alexandria back to his home in Belleville and also did a Google search for the "2017 Republican Convention", according to online searches reviewed by investigators. Police shot and killed him at the scene.

FBI Special Agent Timothy Slater did not identify the members and said there was no evidence to indicate they were targets.

"FBI analysis of the electronic media items recovered which I will note is still ongoing", Slater added, "did not reveal that the shooter placed any online posts or threats or references to members of Congress or the congressional baseball game itself".

Representative Steve Scalise, the House majority whip, was gravely wounded in the shooting last week. He underwent several surgeries at MedStar Washington Hospital Center.

The bureau confirmed Hodgkinson was carrying a piece of paper with the names of six members of Congress - including Jeff Duncan, Mo Brooks, Trent Franks and Scott DesJarlais - at the time of the shooting, but "no context was included on this paper". "When the witness responded that it was a Republican event, Hodgkinson reportedly remained at the baseball field".

In mid to late April, Slater said, Hodgkinson visited the offices of Vermont Sen. Hodgkinson never said anything during the shooting or after, before he died.

Some signs suggest that Hodgkinson might not have known about the daily GOP practices ahead of this year's Congressional Baseball Game.

The FBI said Hodgkinson arrived in Alexandria sometime in March and participated in a demonstration over tax reform on Tax Day.

Hodgkinson was shot dead by police during the attack.

"The shooter made numerous posts on his social media accounts", he said, "espousing anti-Republican views, however those posts appeared to be First Amendment protected rights". All five people who were shot, including two U.S. Capitol police officers, survived their injuries. The unit contained a laptop, more than 200 rounds of ammunition, the receipt for his 2016 rifle purchase, and other rifle components.

He exited his vehicle 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.

Other reports by Insurance News

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