Published: Fri, June 23, 2017
USA | By Angel Wallace

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

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

Slater was sharing new investigative findings into the shooting that injured six people, including House Majority Whip Steve Scalise.

The 66-year-old gunman who opened fire one week ago on members of Congress at a Northern Virginia ball field had photographed Washington landmarks including the Library of Congress, the Supreme Court and the Capitol, the F.B.I. said Wednesday, but the agency did not believe those sites were targets. Investigators said they still don't know exactly why Hodgkinson traveled to Alexandria or why he carried out the shooting. Hodgkinson also had email communications with the two United States senators for Illinois - Tammy Duckworth and Dick Durbin.

Slater said Hodgkinson fired 60 shots - 50 from his SKS - from the third base side of the field, but the Federal Bureau of Investigation does not know if he had a specific target.

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.

Slater said Hodgkinson acted alone and was known to have an "anger management problem".

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

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 remains listed in fair condition in the hospital after undergoing multiple surgeries and is expected to recover. A review of his electronic communications also showed contact with the offices of Democratic Illinois Sens. He says investigators have been digging into Hodgkinson's background. Prior to his departure from IL, a neighbor reported Hodgkinson to police for firing a gun on his property, but police determined he had not committed a crime.

Hodgkinson was "struggling in all kinds of different ways" and was on prescription medication at the time of the shooting, according to Slater. The night before the shooting, Hodgkinson visited locations with free WiFi to search on his computer directions from Alexandria to his home in Belleville and the "2017 Republican Convention".

Investigators determined "Hodgkinson visited his unit more than 43 times between April and June, usually in the morning between 6:00 and 7:00 a.m., however, sometimes twice a day", Slater said.

"I think he was struggling in a lot of aspects of his life", Slater said. He fired more than 60 shots, Slater said.

Hodgkinson, suspect in shooting at Congressional baseball practice.

The FBI confirmed that a witness reported that Hodgkinson has asked them on the morning of the shooting: "Is this the Republican or Democrat baseball team?"

The FBI says Hodgkinson was carrying around a list of names, members of Congress. Officials aren't saying who those members were.

Agents also announced some of the names on the shooter's list that he carried with him, one of which was U.S. Rep. Jeff Duncan of SC.

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