Home / National News / Illinois man who shot at GOP lawmakers had history of criminal run-ins

 

(ALEXANDRIA, Va.) — The man who opened fire at a congressional baseball practice in Virginia had a number of run-ins with the law prior to Wednesday’s incident.

Multiple law enforcement sources have identified the man as 66-year-old James T. Hodgkinson of Belleville, Illinois. He died in the hospital from wounds sustained in a shootout with police.

In March, Hodgkinson met with sheriff deputies in Illinois after they received calls that he had fired 50 shots on his property. Hodgkinson had a valid firearms owner identification card and authorities determined that no law was violated.

Another incident took place in 2006 involving an alleged domestic battery and unlawful discharge of a shotgun. That case was dismissed.

Separately, Hodgkinson had an extensive history of traffic violations and petty offenses in St. Clair County, Illinois, spanning from 1989 to 2011, according to online county court records. The vast majority of the cases were traffic violations and nearly all of them were later dismissed. The most recent conviction on his record was for a “petty offense” of failure to obtain an electrical contractor’s license in 2009.

President Donald Trump confirmed Hodgkinson’s death Wednesday morning in a publicized address.

Hodgkinson’s wife told ABC News that her husband had been living in Alexandria, Virginia, for the past two months. Illinois Secretary of State corporate records show that he voluntarily dissolved his home inspection business, JTH Services, Inc., in December 2016.

Sen. Bernie Sanders, D-Vt., said that Hodgkinson had supported him during the election.

“I have just been informed that the alleged shooter at the Republican baseball practice is someone who apparently volunteered on my presidential campaign. I am sickened by this despicable act. Let me be as clear as I can be. Violence of any kind is unacceptable in our society and I condemn this action in the strongest possible terms,” Sanders said Wednesday morning on the Senate floor.

St. Clair County Sheriff’s Office in Illinois has been contacted for information about Hodgkinson by authorities investigating the shooting in Alexandria, an official with the sheriff’s office told ABC News. Calls to the Belleville Police Department were not immediately returned.

Around 7 a.m. ET at least five people, including Rep. Steve Scalise, R-La., were injured when a shooter opened fire at a baseball field in Alexandria’s Del Ray neighborhood. Republican lawmakers were practicing for Thursday’s annual charity congressional baseball game.

A law enforcement source told ABC News that the suspect was injured and transported to George Washington University Hospital. Authorities later confirmed at a press conference that the suspect is in custody.

Police said the suspect’s motive is unknown at this point. Police described the scene as “stable.”

Authorities confirmed that Capitol Police officers were on scene when the shooting happened and exchanged gunfire with the shooter. Victims have been transported to local hospitals, police said.

The FBI has taken control of the crime scene, which is located some 7 miles away from the White House in Washington, D.C.

The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms is currently conducting urgent traces on two firearms — a rifle and a handgun — from the scene.

Scalise is undergoing surgery and his injury is not life-threatening, his office said in a statement.

“Prior to entering surgery, the Whip was in good spirits and spoke to his wife by phone,” the statement said. “He is grateful for the brave actions of U.S. Capitol Police, first responders, and colleagues. We ask that you keep the Whip and others harmed in this incident in your thoughts and prayers.”

All of the injured individuals have now been identified. Zach Barth, a legislative correspondent in the office of Rep. Roger Williams, R-Texas, was injured as well as Matt Mika, the director of government relations at Tyson Foods.

Two Capitol Police officers, Krystal Griner and David Bailey, who were there protecting Scalise, were also injured in Wednesday’s shooting.

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