The FBI has released additional details following the shooting of Representative Steve Scalise and four others on June 14. We knew that the perpetrator was James T. Hodgkinson of Belville, Illinois, that he was a volunteer on Senator Bernie Sanders’ presidential campaign last year, and that he had a vicious hate for Republicans.
Fox News reported additional findings quoting Timothy Slater, the special agent who heads the FBI field office in Washington. Here’s what we’ve learned.
Predictably distraught by the results, Hodgkinson purchased a 9mm handgun in Illinois in November 2016 following the election. Then, a couple of months ago, he moved to Alexandria, Virginia, where he was living out of his van. He also spent a lot of time using the computers at the YMCA near the ball park where the shooting took place.
In April, he began renting a storage unit in Alexandria, where he stored more than 200 rounds of ammunition. Fox News reports that he visited this unit upwards of 40 times between the time he began renting it and the shooting. Hodgkinson also paid a visit to Bernie Sanders’ office in April, and he emailed Illinois Senators Tammy Duckworth and Dick Durbin sometime between January and the shooting – the FBI didn’t go into details about these emails.
The FBI additionally found a laptop, the receipt from the handgun purchase in November and extra SKS rifle components. Fox News reports that Hodgkinson used an SKS 7.62mm caliber rifle and a 9mm handgun during the shooting. He fired over 60 shots, and 50 came from the SKS rifle.
Slater claims that it does not appear as though Hodgkinson had a particular target in mind, that he was acting alone, and that it was not related to terrorism. Hodgkinson did, however, have a list of Republican members of Congress in his pocket at the time of the shooting, which included Representatives Scot DesJarlais (R-Tenn.), Trent Franks (R-Ariz.), Jeff Duncan (R-S.C.), Jim Jordan (R-Ohio), Mo Brooks (R-Ala.), and Morgan Griffith (R-Va.).
The FBI is still investigating the matter, so we can expect for more details to emerge as the investigation progresses. And thankfully, Scalise’s condition has been upgraded to fair as he continues to recover.