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James Hodgkinson's Wife Makes Statement Outside Belleville Home

18 Juin 2017

NPR's Hansi Lo Wang is in Belleville.


James Hodgkinson began firing at Republicans during a baseball practice in Alexandria, Virginia.

In 2006, he was arrested on a battery charge after allegedly punching a woman in the face, then striking her boyfriend in the head with the wooden stock of a 12-gauge shotgun before firing a round at the man, according to a sheriff's department report.

After getting out of a black SUV that drove down Rolling Hills Lane from the Hodgkinson home, Sue Hodgkinson stood next to a federal agent in front of a gaggle of reporters. Here's what she said.

Suzanne Hodgkinson, who lives in Belleville, Ill., claims she had "no idea" her husband was going to shoot people at the field, according to the Belleville News-Democrat. A government official says the suspect in the Virginia shooting that injured Rep. Steve Scalise and several others has been identified Hodgkinson.

That much was obvious, in her body language and her answers to reporters.

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At an emotional press conference outside the couple's home in Belleville, Illinois, Sue Hodgkinson struggled for words to describe events running up to the shooting and said her husband, known also as Tom, had told her he had gone to the nation's capital to "work on taxes".

Sara Robishaw, a server at Junction Bakery and Bistro, said she began noticing him about three weeks ago, sitting on a bench in front of the Walgreens drugstore across the street from her shop. And she suggested that maybe he wanted a break from living with their - her daughter's child who was living with them in their home. That led her to the former owner, who told her he knew exactly who she was looking for. The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) determined both were purchased legally, the FBI said Thursday.

As part of its investigation, the FBI scoured the vehicle, recovering a cellphone, computer and camera. It was parked across from the scene of the shooting.

In late March, days before Hodgkinson left town, Bill Schaumleffel called the St. Clair Sheriff's Office to complain about Hodgkinson firing his rifle toward houses when his grandchildren were outside.

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WANG: Well, at this point, you know, it's important to stress that we do not know exactly the shooter's motive. And we know that the shooter was politically active. One neighbor told us that he and his family really kept to themselves.

"I think that an excellent recovery is a good possibility", Dr. Jack Sava, director of trauma at MedStar Washington Hospital Center said at a news conference Friday afternoon. And she was shocked by the news, says it was totally unexpected.

James Hodgkinson's Wife Makes Statement Outside Belleville Home