USA congressional baseball field shooter acts alone


A top Federal Bureau of Investigation official says that the man who opened fire at a Republican baseball practice a week ago didn't appear to be targeting a specific individual and that the attack appears to have been spontaneous.

During a search of Hodgkinson's van, investigators found a a handwritten list of six House Republicans' names.

Tim Slater, the special agent in charge of the Washington FBI office, also said during a news conference Wednesday that James T. Hodgkinson did not have any ties to terrorism.

He said authorities found a laptop computer, a cell phone and a digital camera in Hodgkinson's vehicle but an analysis of the items showed that he did not place any online posts of threats or references to lawmakers or the baseball game.

"Our veterans have fulfilled their duty to our nation and now we must fulfill our duty to them", Trump said during a White House ceremony.

The FBI also confirmed an account given to the news media by Rep. Ron DeSantis, a Republican who said that as he was leaving the practice, just minutes before the shooting, Hodgkinson had approached him and asked whether the baseball players on the field were Republicans or Democrats.

Scalise, No. 3 in the House of Representatives Republicanleadership, was shot in the hip and remains hospitalized.

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Congressman Steve Scalise is in fair condition and "is beginning an extended period of healing and rehabilitation", according to Medstar Washington Hospital Center.

President Donald Trump will make good on a campaign promise Friday when he signs a bill that gives leadership at the Department of Veterans Affairs more power to fire failed employees and protect those who uncover wrongdoing at the agency. The FBI found a laptop computer, more than 200 rounds of ammunition, a receipt for the November 2016 gun purchase and additional SKS rifle components inside the unit. Both police officers are recovering and expected to return to full duty.

Former neighbors and family members, meanwhile, said their encounters with Hodgkinson were marked by displays of simmering anger and odd behavior.

Hodgkinson's web-search history revealed "only a cursory search" of two of the members of Congress on the list.

"Through a review of activity logs at the storage facility", he added, "we determined that the shooter visited his unit more than 43 times between April and June". Hodgkinson also had email communications with the two U.S. senators for Illinois - Tammy Duckworth and Dick Durbin.

He was running low on money and his marriage wasn't going well, Slater said. He approached two congressmen who left the practice early and inquired of them if the practicing team was Republican or Democrat, the officials stated.

Hodgkinson had been involved in a protest in Belleville, Ill., where he was living outside a US post office building.