Police have now identified the shooter responsible for the attack on a Congressional Baseball practice being held by Republicans this morning in Alexandria, Virginia. The shooter hails from Illinois and goes by the name of James T. Hodgkinson. For more details on the shooting itself, see this post from earlier this morning.
The Washington Post reports:
The shooter at the GOP congressional baseball practice this morning is James T. Hodgkinson of Belleville, Ill., according to law enforcement officials. Hodgkinson, 66, owns a home inspection business. His home inspection license expired in November 2016 and was not renewed, state records show.
Hodgkinson was charged in April 2006 with battery and aiding damage to a motor vehicle, according to online records in St. Clair County, Illinois. The charges were dismissed, records show.
More details on Hodgkinson from Heavy.com:
Hodgkinson’s Facebook page features a banner image of Senator Bernie Sanders and a profile picture about Democratic Socialism. His profile picture says, “Democratic Socialism explained in 3 words: ‘We the People’ Since 1776.”
Hodgkinson is a Belleville, Illinois, native, according to his Facebook page. He owns a company, JTH Inspections, also called JTH Construction, and studied at Southern Illinois University-Edwardsville.
His Facebook page includes several political posts, including one on May 24 asking for signatures on a Change.org petition calling for the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission to stop the NEXUS pipeline.
He also signed a petition on May 21 titled, “George H.W. Bush: Past Presidents Urge Congress to Launch Independent Investigation,” and shared that on his page as well.
James T. Hodgkinson was charged with battery and aiding damage to a vehicle in April 2006 in St. Clair County, Illinois, the Washington Post reports. The charges were dismissed and no other details about the incident or his criminal background were immediately available.
Hodgkinson, 66, owns a home inspection business in his home state, the newspaper reports.
Still no word on a specific motivation or why he would have even been in the area of the baseball practice unless he knew about it and was waiting in ambush. There apparently was little security for the practice since it was not a public event and very few people would have known about it.
More background from an acquaintance of Hodgkinson from the Washington Post:
Charles Orear, 50, a restaurant manager from St. Louis, said in an interview Wednesday that he became friendly with James T. Hodgkinson, whom law enforcement officials identified as the shooter, during their work in Iowa on Sen. Bernie Sanders’s presidential campaign. Orear said Hodgkinson was a passionate progressive and showed no signs of violence or malice toward others.
“You’ve got to be kidding me,” Orear said when told by phone. “I met him on the Bernie trail in Iowa, worked with him in the Quad Cities area.”
Orear described Hodgkinson as a “quiet guy” who was “very mellow, very reserved” when they stayed overnight at a Sanders’s supporter home in Rock Island, Ill., after canvassing for the senator.
“He was this union tradesman, pretty stocky, and we stayed up talking politics,” he said. “He was more on the really progressive side of things.”
The shooter is dead from wounds he sustained during shootout with police:
— The Boston Globe (@BostonGlobe) June 14, 2017