FBI: GOP baseball practice shooting not related to terrorism

By Andrew V. Pestano  |  Updated June 21, 2017 at 11:33 AM
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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.

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.

"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."

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

"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."

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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