Gunman in Lawmaker Shooting Had Photographed Washington Landmarks, FBI Says

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.

The updates on the investigation of the attack that wounded five, including House Majority Whip Steve Scalise, a Louisiana Republican, came on Wednesday (June 21) with the FBI saying it still was not clear what motivated the unemployed home inspector from IL to travel to the Washington-area where he spent months living in his van in Alexandria before launching the shootings.

Scalise, who is now receiving treatment at the MedStar Hospital in Washington has undergone a series of surgeries and is said to be in fair condition.

Louisiana's Steve Scalise's condition was improved from serious to fair after the shooting that left major damage to his internal organs and resulted in massive bleeding.

US Capitol Police and other officers returned fire and killed the gunman, who turned out to be an unemployed home inspector with a deep animosity towards President Donald Trump and other Republicans. Scalise is "doing a lot better", Speaker of the House Paul Ryan said at a conference Tuesday, reporting that he has been talking and texting. Investigators recovered 200 rounds of ammunition from the locker, in addition to rifle components, a laptop, and a receipt for a gun purchase.

Hodgkinson had been in email contact with the two Democratic senators from IL, he said.

Hodgkinson, suspect in shooting at Congressional baseball practice. The FBI said it does not consider the photos "surveillance of intended targets", but officials cautioned that they are still examining Hodgkinson's activities. Hodgkinson also tried to meet Senator Bernie Sanders (I-Vermont). In addition, Hodgkinson visited the office of Sen. Members of the U.S. Capitol Police force were detailed to U.S. Rep. Steve Scalise and engaged in a shootout with Hodgkinson.

"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 Federal Bureau of Investigation press release states. He also took pictures of the baseball field where he would later fire more than 60 shots.

The gunman came out of his vehicle with two rifles, a 9 mm handgun and a 7.62 mm caliber SKS rifle.

The FBI so far has not found evidence that Hodgkinson searched the Internet for the baseball practice or the charity baseball game, Slater said.

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  • Larry Hoffman