Man who shot congressman was living in van, called a loner

On March 24, responding officers of the St Clair County Sheriff's Department encountered him shooting 50 rounds in a pine forest near Belleville.

Authorities identified the gunman as James Hodgkinson, a 66-year-old home inspector from the St Louis suburb of Belleville, Illinois.

(FBI via AP). This poster released by the Federal Bureau of Investigation asks for information on James T. Hodgkinson of Belleville, Ill.

(AP Photo/ Ben Finley). He was wounded in a gunfight with Capitol Hill police at the scene and later died.

The Hodgkinsons spoke to the News-Democrat at the time, saying they did not know what triggered a "very practical, level-headed girl" to kill herself. "An attack on one of us is an attack on all of us", Ryan said, to prolonged applause.

ABC's Brian Ross says Hodgkinson left his southern IL home earlier this year. By Tuesday, he seemed ready to come home, asking a mechanic to make sure his tires would survive the trip back to IL.

GOP House Whip Steve Scalise of Louisiana has undergone several surgeries after he was wounded.

Hodgkinson was a member of many anti-Republican groups on Facebook, including "The Road to Hell Is Paved With Republicans", "Terminate The Republican Party", and "Donald Trump is not my President", his profile showed before it was taken down. Among other things, Hodgkinson said Trump had screwed up the country "more than anyone in the history of this country".

The finger-pointing came even as lawmakers on both sides called for unity, comity and a more civil political discourse.

The Democrat nominee labeled almost 63 million Americans who voted for Donald Trump as "deplorable" and, more significantly, "irredeemable". "There was so much anger in it".

Scalise remained in critical condition early Thursday morning, according to officials at MedStar Washington Hospital Center, the Washington Post reported.

Hodgkinson often posted criticisms of Trump and the Republicans on social media.

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In this case, Hodgkinson life clearly revolved around his left-wing worldview.

Pelosi and other Democrats charged that Trump himself bears responsibility for the virulent state of political discourse - and some said for Wednesday's attack as well, given his embrace of aggressive rhetoric on the campaign trail and the outbreaks of violence at some of his rallies. He was a fiery guy, known for the occasional bar fight.

Hodgkinson had previously had multiple run-ins with the law.

He also had an arrest record going back to the 1990s, including a battery charge in 2006. One foster daughter committed suicide while another died of a drug overdose.

As it happens, I am an example of a person who holds the seemingly contradictory views that Bernie Sanders' policies are good, while shooting people to death is bad.

Sue Hodgkinson said she felt "horrible".

At the YMCA, Hodgkinson was nondescript: he always wore black trousers and golf shirts, sometimes beige, sometimes gray, sometimes black. Most mornings, he could be found at the city's YMCA, said Democratic former Alexandria Mayor Bill Euille, who works out at the facility each morning.

"I had to believe at first that it was a different person with the same name", Calhoun said of hearing the news that Hodgkinson had been named as the shooter. He always drank Budweiser from a can and drank alone, barely speaking to anyone, including the bartenders.

He said Hodgkinson "never backed down" on his convictions, but he never knew his friend to be an extremist. Facebook has apparently taken down Hodgkinson's accounts.

Jeff Flake also said he kept asking people "are you friendly?"

Beginning in 1969, he studied aviation at Belleville Area College, which later became Southwestern Illinois College.

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