GOP baseball practice shooting not related to terrorism

FBI Special Agent in Charge Tim Slater holds up a flyer looking for information about the deceased suspect James T. Hodgkinson during a media availability Wednesday

The FBI on Wednesday said the IL man with a grudge against Republicans and who opened fire on GOP lawmakers practicing for a charity baseball game "acted alone" and was not part of a terror group. The FBI has also determined Hodkinson acted alone and has no ties to terrorism. One Capitol Police officer - Special Agent Crystal Griner - also suffered a gunshot wound to the ankle.

The storage facility's visitor log, Slater said, showed that Hodgkinson had gone there 43 times between April and June.

Rep. Ron DeSantis, R-Fla., however has raised the prospect that the incident may have been politically motivated, saying shortly after the attack that a man who matched Hodgkinson's description approached him and others in the parking lot of the baseball field to ask whether the practice involved Republicans or Democrats. The night before the shooting, Hodgkinson visited locations with free WiFi to search on his computer directions from Alexandria to his home in Belleville and the "2017 Republican Convention". However, Slater claimed there is no indication the names were a hit list or intended targets.

There are 1 comment on the Reuters story from 3 hrs ago, titled Gunman made no threats to Congress before Virginia shooting: Federal Bureau of Investigation.

House majority whip Steve Scalise was seriously wounded in the shooting and is still recovering after undergoing several surgeries.

Scalise's condition has been upgraded to "fair" from "serious", according to the hospital on Wednesday.

He said it also appeared Hodgkinson was running out of money as he was living out of his van in Alexandria.

The FBI also analyzed Hodgkinson's devices and social-media accounts and said that while his posts included numerous "anti-Republican" sentiments, they appeared so far to be First Amendment-protected speech.

Hodgkinson carried a list with the names of six Congress members.

Hodgkinson, suspect in shooting at Congressional baseball practice.

The FBI, which reviewed records from Hodgkinson's cellphone and laptop, released preliminary details from its ongoing probe into the shooting, piecing together Hodgkinson's whereabouts and online activity in the days and weeks leading up to the shooting.

The shooting occurred as 25 to 30 Republican members of the House and Senate had gathered for an early morning practice a day before the annual charity congressional baseball game against Democrats.

Hodgkinson had expressed anti-Republican views online but Slater said, "There were no threats whatsoever".

Alexandria Police Chief Michael Brown lauded the heroic actions of officer Nicole Battaglia and two other officers who were the first to arrive at a field where GOP congressmen were practicing for the game. Hodgkinson never said anything during the shooting or after, before he died. All five people who were shot survived their injuries.

Authorities revealed Wednesday that Hodgkinson had legally purchased a 7.62 mm caliber SKS rifle in March 2003 and a 9mm handgun after the election in November 2016.

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