The gunman in the Congressional baseball practice shooting was married, although he had been living apart from his wife Sue Hodgkinson for several months.
James Hodgkinson‘s wife, Sue Hodgkinson (sometimes called Suzanne Hodgkinson), has not been implicated in the attack. In contrast to her husband’s angry political rants on Facebook, she filled her page with pictures of children and grandchildren. There was trouble at home in the Hodgkinson family, though.
James T. Hodgkinson, 66, of Belleville, Illinois, stormed into the Alexandria, Virginia baseball practice and wounded five people, including U.S. Rep. Steve Scalise, the Majority Whip for Republicans. Hodgkinson, a Bernie Sanders supporter who ranted against Donald Trump and Republicans on Facebook and in letters to the editor, was armed with a rifle and was gunned down by two heroic Capitol police officers working security for Scalise.
Hodgkinson died, but the others injured – a lobbyist, congressional staffer, and the two police officers – are expected to survive.
Here’s what you need to know:
1. Sue Hodgkinson Told ABC News Her Husband Was Living in Virginia the Past Two Months
The husband and wife had recently been living apart, although it was not clear why. They had previously lived together in Belleville, Illinois, in the above home, which was soon swarming with law enforcement.
“Hodgkinson’s wife told ABC News that her husband had been living in Alexandria, Virginia, for the past two months,” ABC News reported, adding that James Hodgkinson had recently dissolved his business.
“Illinois Secretary of State corporate records show that he voluntarily dissolved his home inspection business, JTH Services, Inc., in December 2016,” according to ABC News.
2. James Hodgkinson’s Wife Is an Executive Administrative Assistant & the Family Raised Foster Children
On Facebook, Sue Hodgkinson writes that she works as an executive administrative assistant, studied at Southwestern Illinois College, and went to St. Francis Xavier in St. Louis. She works for an accounting firm. “His wife, a receptionist at a local accounting office in Belleville, told neighbors in April that he was planning to retire from his home inspection business, they said. Employees at the accounting office declined to comment Wednesday, and said that his wife was gone for the day,” The Washington Post reported.
She lives in Belleville, Illinois and is from St. Louis, Missouri. A KMOV reporter wrote on Twitter, “I just stopped by James Hodgkinson’s listed business address. His wife apparently still leaves there. Neighbors say she’s at work. @KMOV.”
James Hodgkinson was born in Belleville. According to the Belleville News-Democrat, “While others of his family moved away, Hodgkinson settled in Belleville with his wife, Sue.”
The couple raised several foster children, friends said, and they also had a daughter together, Sue’s Facebook page indicates.
James Hodgkinson “was described as a generous man who, with his wife, had raised several foster children and volunteered on the Bernie Sanders presidential campaign,” Politico reported.
3. James Hodgkinson Was a Home Inspector & There Were Domestic Violence Allegations in the Family
According to the Chicago Tribune, James Hodgkinson’s listed address “was a rural home on the outskirts of the St. Louis suburbs, where he had a business as a home inspector and appraiser.” The Tribune gave his wife’s name as Sue, although others refer to her as Suzanne.
In April 2006, James was arrested on “suspicion of battery, domestic battery, criminal damage of property and reckless discharge of a firearm” by the St. Clair County sheriff’s office,” the Tribune reported.
According to ABC News, police were also called to Hodgkinson’s property when a neighbor reported he was firing shots on it. It was determined that he had a valid firearm card to carry, reported ABC.
The domestic battery case involved an incident with his daughter, his daughter’s friend and the friend’s boyfriend, court documents obtained by TMZ show.
Police said James Hodgkinson was trying to get his daughter to leave the 20-year-old female friend’s house, but things got physical when she refused to leave. He was accused of grabbing her hair and pulling her to the floor. Police said they found hair that had been ripped out of the girl’s head. The daughter tried to flee in a car and police said Hodgkinson reached in, turned off the car and cut her seat belt. He then punched the female friend in the face with a closed fist, police said.
When the friend’s boyfriend tried to intervene, police said Hodgkinson hit him with the wooden stock of a shotgun and then chased him, firing a shot that did not hit anyone.
According to Politico, his wife, Suzanne, was also charged with domestic battery, but it’s not clear why. The charges were dropped.
4. James Hodgkinson Filled His Social Media Pages With Political Commentary But His Wife’s Page Is Filled With Family & Games
The husband and wife have a contrasting style on social media, at least publicly. James Hodgkinson filled his Facebook pages in particular (he had two of them) with rants against Donald Trump and Republicans and support for Bernie Sanders. His cover photo is of Bernie.
One example of many: On March 22 he wrote, “Trump is a Traitor. Trump Has Destroyed Our Democracy. It’s Time to Destroy Trump & Co.” He also wrote, “I Want to Say Mr. President, for being an ass hole you are Truly the Biggest Ass Hole We Have Ever Had in the Oval Office.”
On June 12, he wrote, “Make America Great Again, Resign!,” along with a meme of Trump with the words, “All in all it’s just another prick in the wall.” He also wrote, “Trump is Guilty & Should Go to Prison for Treason” and “Trump is a Mean, Disgusting Person.”
Bernie Sanders said in a statement that he believed Hodgkinson was one of his campaign volunteers and condemned the shootings. James Hodgkinson shared several cartoons in 2015, including one that was critical of Rep. Steve Scalise. He wrote, “Here’s a Republican that should Lose His Job, but they Gave Him a Raise.”
The most political his wife’s page got was a photo of her with a rainbow filter. Instead, she wrote about family birthday parties and typical things like that. Her only public post was of a computer game.
5. Five People Were Injured in the Rampage & James Hodgkinson Was Shot by the Capitol Police
In addition to state Rep. Steve Scalise (R-LA), those shot in the rampage were Matt Mika, a lobbyist; Zack Barth, a congressional staffer, and two Capitol police officers who stopped the gunman, Crystal Griner and David Bailey. (A photo of Griner will be added to the above array when one is released).
All survived, although Scalise underwent surgery. You can read more about the victims here:
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