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FBI: GOP baseball practice shooting not related to terrorism

By
Andrew V. Pestano
Andrew Vale, assistant director in charge for the FBI Washington Field Office, speaks at a news conference in Washington on Wednesday on investigative findings in the June 14 shooting at the practice for the annual Congressional Baseball Game. Photo by Yuri Gripas/UPI
Andrew Vale, assistant director in charge for the FBI Washington Field Office, speaks at a news conference in Washington on Wednesday on investigative findings in the June 14 shooting at the practice for the annual Congressional Baseball Game. Photo by Yuri Gripas/UPI | License Photo

June 21 (UPI) -- The FBI said Tuesday the shooting at a Republican congressional baseball practice in which House Majority Whip Steve Scalise and others were wounded was not connected to terrorism.

The FBI said the gunman, 66-year-old James T. Hodgkinson, was living in his vehicle in the greater Washington, D.C., area since March before he launched the attack on June 14.

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Those injured in the shooting at the Eugene Simpson Stadium Park ballfields in Alexandria, Va., were Louisiana Rep. Scalise; U.S. Capitol Police officers David Bailey and Crystal Griner; Tyson Foods lobbyist Matt Mika; congressional aide Zach Barth; and Texas Rep. Roger Williams.

Hodgkinson, of Belleville, Ill., died after a gunfight with the Capitol Police officers.

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"The FBI is investigating this shooting as an assault on a member of Congress and an assault on a federal officer," the FBI said in a statement. "At this point in the investigation, the FBI does not believe there is a nexus to terrorism."

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The FBI also said Hodgkinson did not make any online posts of threats or references against Congress members.

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"Hodgkinson made numerous posts on all of his social media accounts espousing anti-Republican views, although all the posts reviewed thus far appear to be First Amendment-protected speech," the FBI added. "The morning of the shooting, a witness reported Hodgkinson asking them, 'Is this the Republican or Democrat baseball team?' When the witness responded that it was a Republican event, Hodgkinson reportedly remained at the baseball field."

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

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