The FBI found photos of Washington D.C. landmarks on congressional baseball practice shooter James T. Hodgkinson’s phone, and a list with the names of six members of Congress.
Some of the details in a newly released FBI report paint a more nuanced picture than was previously known about how Hodgkinson planned the attack and his life before the attack.
Five people, including state Rep. Steve Scalise, were wounded when Hodgkinson opened fire at the Republican practice in Alexandria, Virginia. All are recovering from their wounds.
Hodgkinson was killed by officers who responded to the attack, saving lives.
Here are some of the key findings in the new FBI report, which was released on June 21:
Hodgkinson Took Photos of Numerous Washington D.C. Landmarks
Photos of some of Washington D.C.’s best known landmarks were found in Hodgkinson’s phone, although the FBI doesn’t believe they were necessarily intended targets.
“Content found on Hodgkinson’s phone shows photographs and videos between April 11 and April 26. Hodgkinson took photographs at various sites on the National Mall and at various monuments, including the east front plaza of the U.S. Capitol, inside the visitor’s entrance of the Dirksen Senate Office Building, the front entrance of the Library of Congress, the west side of the Supreme Court, the front entrance of the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture, and the Washington Monument. On April 15, Hodgkinson took multiple photographs of Eugene Simpson Stadium Park. At this point in the investigation, the FBI does not believe that these photographs represented surveillance of intended targets, however, we continue to learn more about Hodgkinson’s recent activities,” the report said.
Hodgkinson Had a List of Six Members of Congress & Had Searched Information About Two of Them on the Internet
Law enforcement authorities “searched Hodgkinson’s vehicle at the scene of the shooting; a storage facility that he rented beginning April 16, 2017 in Alexandria, Virginia; and his home in Belleville,” the report said.
Items found on Hodgkinson “included a piece of paper that contained the names of six members of Congress. No context was included on this paper, however, a review of Hodgkinson’s web searches in the months prior to the shooting revealed only a cursory search of two of those members of Congress. A second document with a rough sketch of several streets in Washington, D.C. was found on Hodgkinson; however, it was not deemed to be of investigative significance.”
The Gunman Had Searched the Republican Convention on the Internet Before the Shooting
Analysis of Hodgkinson’s laptop computers “show online activity the night before the shooting; however, no Internet searches were discovered the morning of the shooting,” the FBI report says.
“The Internet searches Hodgkinson performed the night before the shooting included a Google map search from Alexandria to his home in Belleville and a Google search of the ‘2017 Republican Convention.’”
Hodgkinson Was Living in His Van in a YMCA Parking Lot Since March 2017
The report paints a picture of Hodgkinson’s desperate final months.
“Evidence collected thus far indicates Hodgkinson had been in the Alexandria area since March 2017. On the morning of Wednesday, June 14, 2017, Hodgkinson, who was living in his vehicle, which was located in the parking lot of the YMCA on East Monroe Avenue, is believed to have exited his vehicle with two weapons, a 7.62mm caliber SKS rifle and a 9mm handgun, for which he had a holster on his person,” the report said.
“He approached the baseball fields where practice for a Congressional charity baseball game was taking place. Acting alone, Hodgkinson shot in the vicinity of the field where members of Congress and staffers were standing. Immediately adjacent to the field were two United States Capitol Police special agents who were detailed to a member of Congress and who engaged Hodgkinson. Alexandria Police Department officers responded to the scene of shots fired and also engaged Hodgkinson who, over police radio, was reported down at 7:14 a.m.”
The FBI also provided more details on the firearms.
“The investigation thus far determined that Hodgkinson purchased his SKS 7.62mm caliber rifle in March 2003 and 9mm handgun in November 2016 legally through federal firearms licensees. The investigation has determined that there were cartridges found to be chambered in the SKS rifle and the FBI’s Evidence Response Team found 9mm and 7.62mm shell casings on scene. The SKS rifle was modified to accept a detachable magazine and the original stock was replaced with a folding stock.”
Hodgkinson Espoused Anti-Republican Views
The FBI documented Hodgkinson’s anti-Republican views in the report.
“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 morning of the shooting, a witness reported Hodgkinson asking them, “Is this the Republican or Democrat baseball team?”
“When the witness responded that it was a Republican event, Hodgkinson reportedly remained at the baseball field,” the report said.
Hodgkinson Told a Relative He Was Going to Washington D.C.
In March 2017, Hodgkinson, of Belleville, Illinois, “told a family member that he was traveling to Washington D.C., but he did not provide any additional information on his travel,” the FBI report says.
“FBI analysis of Hodgkinson’s computers showed a Google search of truck stops, maps, and toll-free routes to the Northern Virginia area.”
There were warning signs in Hodgkinson’s past. “Prior to his travel, local law enforcement in Belleville had been called to Hodgkinson’s residence due to complaints of target practice he was conducting on his property. Local law enforcement requested he keep the noise down but determined Hodgkinson was not in violation of any local laws. Hodgkinson’s prior criminal record includes a charge of domestic battery in 2006.”