Wife: Man who shot congressman wanted to work on tax policy

Alejandro Massey
June 18, 2017

Steve Scalise and three others at a baseball field in Alexandria, Virginia.

Hodgkinson is originally from Belleville, Illinois - 800 miles from where the 66-year-old opened fire on Republican members of Congress at a Virginia baseball field.

Authorities say they are examining a cell phone, a computer and a camera found inside a white van where Hodgkinson had been living. He said he was concerned about all Americans' safety from gun violence, not just politicians: "This is not what today is about, but we have too many guns on the street".

"I just want y'all (reporters) to go away, and leave my neighbors in peace", Sue said. She told reporters she feels "horrible".

"I can't believe he did this", she said, visibly upset.

On Facebook, Hodgkinson was a member of a group called "Terminate the Republican Party", a fact that seemed to take on chilling new meaning in light of an account from South Carolina Rep. Jeff Duncan.

Chief Deputy Sheriff Richard Wagner reflected on those interactions and said, "He never tipped us off or gave any indication that he was violent in any way". The previous day, he had cancelled his membership, "saying he was moving". He had access to the facility on Wednesday, and arrived less than two hours before the shooting, the YMCA said in a statement. Among them was Mike Mika of Tyson Foods, and Zack Barth, a staffer for Texas Rep. Roger Williams. Two incredibly fearless Capitol Police officers were also injured along with a House aide. A former congressional aide was hospitalized. His wife said he talked a lot about politics, and he posted often on Facebook, railing against Trump.

Kristina Scrimshaw, a bartender at the Pork Barrel BBQ restaurant a few blocks from the shooting scene, said Hodgkinson had become something of a regular in recent weeks. "She was really unhappy there", Moreland added.

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"I knew he was a Democrat, a pretty hardcore one".

Most recently, police spoke with Hodgkinson in March after receiving complaints of a man firing 50 shots in the woods near several homes.

"If we can't call attention to undemocratic action, that's not good", said Jane Sanders, the wife of the independent senator from Vermont, during an interview on CNN.

A search of online newspapers shows that Hodgkinson frequently wrote letters to his local newspaper, the Belleville News-Democrat, which published almost two dozen of them between 2010 and 2012. Many included complaints about the same theme: income inequality.

The hospital said Scalise was struck by a single rifle shot to the left hip that went through his pelvis, "fracturing bones, injuring internal organs, and causing severe bleeding".

Not mentioned: The charges were dismissed after Moreland "got her dates "mixed up" and failed to appear on time for a second court date", The Daily Beast reported.

Later that year, in October 2011, he applauded the Occupy Wall Street protesters in NY and Boston, writing that the demonstrators "are exhausted of our do-nothing Congress doing nothing while our country is going down the tubes". Hodgkinson and Hodgkinson alone is to blame for yesterday's shooting.

"When you have people with basically mainstream opinions so worked up that they're willing to commit acts of actual violence, it illustrates in a very stark way how divided our country is right now", Pitcavage said. The county that it's in, St. Clair County, is politically purple.

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