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FBI says gunman James Hodgkinson acted alone in Alexandria shooting

Baseball shooting latest

The gunman who shot four people including a Republican member of Congress at a baseball field last week acted alone and was not connected to terrorism, FBI investigators said Wednesday.

James T. Hodgkinson, 66, was carrying an SKS rifle and a 9 mm handgun when he opened fire on members of Congress practicing at the field in Alexandria, Virginia, shortly after 7 a.m. on June 14. He fired 60 shots during the attack, striking House Majority Whip Rep. Steve Scalise, a congressional staffer, a lobbyist and a Capitol Police officer before being shot and killed himself. Another police officer was injured.

Scalise arrived at a Washington hospital at "imminent risk of death" after the shooting, doctors said last week. He remains listed in fair condition in the hospital after undergoing multiple surgeries and is expected to recover. Both police officers are recovering and expected to return to full duty.

The shooting has led other members of Congress to worry about their safety. 

Utah Rep. Jason Chaffetz told CBS News correspondent Chip Reid that members of Congress generally feel safe on Capitol Hill, but they become vulnerable when they leave work. 

"I've had someone call, leave a voicemail message saying they're going to come slit my throat, only to have a prosecutor come and tell me, 'Oh, we're not going to prosecute that one,'" Chaffetz said. "It shouldn't have to take a shooting where someone actually gets shot to change the way we're doing things here." 

Chaffetz says he's proposing for U.S. marshals to do threat assessments for traveling members of Congress, just like they do for federal judges. 

On Wednesday morning, FBI officials released findings of the federal investigation into the shooting at a press conference. In a statement, the bureau said federal law enforcement did not believe Hodgkinson had "a nexus to terrorism."

Video shows Alexandria shooting

Hodgkinson had been living out of his car in the Alexandria area since traveling to the area from his home in Belleville, Illinois, in March, the FBI said. Investigators said they still don't know exactly why Hodgkinson traveled to Alexandria or why he carried out the shooting.

"He was struggling with a lot of things in his life," Timothy Slater, special agent in charge of FBI's Washington Field Office, said.

Hodgkinson obtained the weapons used in the shooting legally, purchasing the rifle in 2003 and the handgun in 2016 from licensed firearms dealers. Prior to his departure from Illinois, a neighbor reported Hodgkinson to police for firing a gun on his property, but police determined he had not committed a crime.

Slater said Hodgkinson did not have a history of mental illness, but was known to have an anger management problem and was taking prescription drugs. 

After the shooting, investigators searched Hodgkinson's home in Illinois and a storage facility in Alexandria he began renting in April. Records showed he visited the storage unit more than 43 times in two months, usually between 6 a.m. and 7 a.m. 

Alexandria gunman's wife: "I can't wrap my head around it"

Investigators found more than 200 rounds of ammunition in the storage unit, as well as a laptop, a receipt for the rifle purchase and additional rifle components. Another laptop, a cell phone and a digital camera were found in Hodgkinson's vehicle following the shooting.

The FBI said Hodgkinson frequently criticized Republicans on social media, but the posts "appear to be First Amendment-protected speech." Hodgkinson's posts did not include "threats or references to Members of Congress or the Congressional baseball game."

The bureau confirmed Hodgkinson was carrying a piece of paper with the names of six members of Congress -- including Jeff Duncan, Mo Brooks, Trent Franks and Scott DesJarlais -- at the time of the shooting, but "no context was included on this paper." The names of the two others have not been confirmed, but investigators do not believe it was a hit list. 

"If you look at his pattern of life and what he was doing on his laptop and social media accounts, there's no indication that that was a list to target or that there was any threat associated with the names on the list," Slater said.   

Alexandria shooter didn't keep his political views a secret

On April 15, Hodgkinson attended a march in Washington demanding the release of President Trump's tax returns, the bureau said. He also visited the office of independent Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont sometime between April 15 and April 26.

Investigators also reviewed Hodgkinson's online searches and browsing history, revealing queries for the "2017 Republican Convention" and directions from Alexandria to his Illinois home on the night before the shooting. A family member told investigators Hodgkinson had expressed a desire to return to Illinois in a message on June 12.

On the morning of the shooting, Hodgkinson approached a witness near the baseball field, asking, "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.

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