Salem congressman Morgan Griffith was on Alexandria gunman's list
01:19, Jun 23, 2017
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The officers were part of a security detail assigned to Scalise because he is majority whip and the third-ranking GOP House member.
Scalise and other congressional Republicans were practicing for their annual charity baseball game against Democrats last Wednesday at the Eugene Simpson Stadium Park in Alexandria when Hodgkinson arrived and started shooting.
At this point in the investigation, the attack appears to be "more spontaneous" than planned, Slater said.
He exited his vehicle last Wednesday carrying two weapons - the SKS rifle that had been modified to use a detachable magazine and a folding stock, and a 9mm handgun in a holster - that had been bought legally, Slater said.
The alleged shooter, identified as James Hodgkinson of Belleville, Ill., was not known to have been diagnosed with mental illness, but he was known to have an anger management problem, said Timothy Slater, the special agent in charge of the criminal division in the bureau's Washington office. A federal law enforcement official who is not authorized to comment publicly said it was not known whether gunman meant to target the lawmakers.
Louisiana'sSteve 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. A review of his electronic communications also showed contact with the offices of Democratic Illinois Sens. The FBI said in a statement the agency is actively investigating him to look at his associates, whereabouts and any activity on social media. During the shooting, U.S. Capitol Police and other officers returned fire. Prior to his departure from IL, a neighbor reported Hodgkinson to police for firing a gun on his property, but police determined he had not committed a crime.
The sheriff said deputies arrived to find Hodgkinson with a hunting rifle on his property where he was apparently engaged in target practice.
In Alexandria, Hodgkinson became somewhat of a fixture at the YMCA, which is across the street from the field.
"He was struggling in all kinds of different ways, " FBI Assistant Director Tim Slater said.
Two days before the shooting, a family member said Hodgkinson sent a message about coming back home to IL.
He approached Rep. Jeff Duncan (R-S.C.) as Duncan was leaving the baseball field and asked whether the team playing was a Republican or Democrat team. Hodgkinson's posts did not include "threats or references to Members of Congress or the Congressional baseball game".
Officials also said Hodgkinson had kept a storage locker in Alexandria and visited it 43 times between April and June, usually between 6am and 7am At times, he went to the unit daily and sometimes more than once.
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