ALEXANDRIA, Va. — Multiple sources have identified an Illinois man, James T. Hodgkinson, as the alleged gunman in the attack on a Republican congressional baseball practice Wednesday morning in Alexandria, Va.
Five people were wounded in the attack, including House Majority Whip Steve Scalise, and two Capitol police officers.
President Donald Trump in an address to the nation following the assault said Hodgkinson had died, apparently after exchanging gunfire with police at the scene.
The gunman is reported to have used a rifle similar to an M4 carbine rifle. The M4 is used by the U.S. Army and U.S. Marine Corps.
The Associated Press reported shortly after noon that court records show Hodgkinson had legal troubles beginning in the 1990s with arrests for resisting police and drunken driving. “His most serious problems apparently came in 2006, when he was arrested on a battery charge,” AP reports. “Records indicate he has not been involved in any legal cases since 2011.”
A number of Facebook accounts seem to exist bearing his name and longtime town of residence. An account, with the last public post on June 9, includes a number of politically-oriented comments. The posts are aimed primarily at President Donald Trump and use profanity. The featured image on the page shows Sen. Bernie Sanders, the runner-up for the Democratic Party’s presidential nomination in 2016, as Uncle Sam.
Sanders issued a statement condemning the shooting and offering prayers for Scalise and the others injured in the attack.
“I have just been informed that the alleged shooter at the Republican baseball practice is someone who apparently volunteered on my presidential campaign,” Sanders said in the statement. “I am sickened by this despicable act. Let me be as clear as I can be. Violence of any kind is unacceptable in our society and I condemn this attack in the strongest possible terms. Real change can only come about through nonviolent action, and anything else runs against our most deeply held American values.”
James T. Hodgkinson is listed as a Belleville, Illinois resident. Records show he was associated with a home inspection business, JTH Services. He is listed as a licensed real estate appraiser and home inspector. Illinois Secretary of ‘State’s office records indicate he dissolved that business in January.
AP also reports Hodgkinson wrote frequent letters to his local paper, the Belleville News-Democrat. The newspaper published nearly two dozen letters between 2010 and 2012, many of which included complaints about the same theme: income inequality, AP reports.
“Hodgkinson compared the economic conditions of the time to those that preceded the Great Depression and excoriated Congress for not increasing the number of tax brackets and taking other tax reform measures.”
“On May 14, 2010, he wrote: “I don’t envy the rich; I despise the way they have bought our politicians and twisted our laws to their benefit.”
On March 4, 2011, he wrote that Congress should rewrite tax codes to ease the tax burdens of the middle class.
“Let’s get back to the good ol’ days, when our representatives had a backbone and a conscience,” he wrote.
WHNT News 19 will continue to update you, as we obtain more information.