Gunman who shot congressman appears to have acted alone, FBI says

Timothy Slater, a FBI special agent-in-charge for the Washington office, briefing the media Wednesday about the investigation into the shooting at a Congressional baseball practice in Alexandria, Virginia.

Representative Steve Scalise, the House majority whip, was gravely wounded in the shooting last week. Another police officer was injured.

On Capitol Hill today, Republicans were wearing yellow and purple fleur-de-lis stickers to honor Scalise, whose condition was upgraded to fair condition. He has undergone several surgeries and remains in hospital. Both police officers are recovering and expected to return to full duty.

Hodgkinson acted alone and had no ties to terrorism, Slater said at the news conference. We also assess that there was no nexus to terrorism.

Hodgkinson left his home in Belleville, Ill., in March and drove to the Alexandria area, where he then lived in his vehicle at a YMCA across the street from the baseball field.

Watson said he learned of Hodgkinson's connection to the Virginia shooting shortly after 9:30 a.m., when he arrived at the department for a meeting.

It wasn't even clear whether he had prior plans to attack the baseball practice or whether he just happened upon it the morning of June 14, said Tim Slater, who leads the criminal division of the FBI's Washington field office. Hodgkinson, armed with an assault-style rifle and handgun, was fatally wounded in an exchange of gunfire with the two officers and other local police in what Alexandria Police Chief Mike Brown described as "a combat situation".

"I know that he was struggling in all kinds of different ways, but I do not know the specifics of why he intended, or his motive at the time", Slater said". He rented out a storage unit where he kept more than 200 rounds of ammunition, among other belongings. He visited the unit 43 times between April and June, including the morning of the shooting. He had two laptop computers, a cellphone and a digital camera.

The FBI said in a statement the agency is actively investigating him to look at his associates, whereabouts and any activity on social media. Hodgkinson's posts did not include "threats or references to Members of Congress or the Congressional baseball game".

Following the shooting, officials found a piece of paper on Hodgkinson with the names of six members of Congress, though no context was given on why he had written down their names.

The FBI so far has not found evidence that Hodgkinson searched the Internet for the baseball practice or the charity baseball game, Slater said. But they said they had not yet clarified who, if anyone, he planned to target, or why, beyond his animus toward President Donald Trump and the Republicans he felt were ruining the country. The night before the shooting, Hodgkinson visited locations with free WiFi to search on his computer directions from Alexandria to his home in Belleville and the "2017 Republican Convention".

The evening before the shooting, the Federal Bureau of Investigation revealed Hodgkinson had searched online for "2017 Republican convention", as well as a map from Alexandria to his home in Belleville, Illinois.

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