FBI releases details of Del Ray shooter’s path, motives

FBI releases details of Del Ray shooter’s path, motives
James T. Hodgkinson (Courtesy Photo)

By Alexa Epitropoulos | aepitropoulos@alextimes.com

New findings announced by the FBI reveal more about James T. Hodgkinson, who injured Rep. Steve Scalise (R-La.) and four others on June 14. 

The FBI investigation concluded that Hodgkinson acted alone. He had been living in Alexandria since March 2017 and found in a storage unit he had been renting in Alexandria since April 6 a piece of paper that include the names of six members of Congress and a sketch of several streets in Washington, D.C. The latter document was ruled not significant. The FBI did not reveal which names were on Hodgkinson’s list. 

The storage unit contained a laptop computer, more than 200 rounds of ammunition and a receipt for the purchase of SKS rifle components, which fit one of the weapons he used – a SKS 7.62mm caliber rifle – in the shooting.

The FBI’s searches of his internet activity reveal he had been online the night before the shooting, but not on the morning of the shooting. The night before, Hodgkinson had done a Google map search from Alexandria to his home in Belleville, Illinois, as well as a Google search for the 2017 Republican Convention. 

Analysis of Hodgkinson’s phone and email accounts are ongoing, but the FBI’s investigation to this point has revealed that Hodgkinson had texted a family member seeking to return home to Illinois.

The FBI also revealed Hodgkinson had taken multiple photos of Eugene Simpson Park on April 15, about two months before the shooting occurred. The FBI said, however, that it does not believe that the photographs were taken to surveil targets at this point.

Videos and photographs on Hodgkinson’s phone show that he visited the National Mall and other tourist destinations in D.C. between April 11 and April 26, including the east front plaza at the U.S. Capitol, 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 Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture and the Washington Monument.