Wife: Man who shot congressman wanted to work on tax policy

18 June, 2017, 00:10 | Author: Brittany Bishop
  • Top House leader shot

The wife of James Hodgkinson, the gunman who shot Rep. Steve Scalise, R-La., and four others at a baseball field in Virginia Wednesday, said her husband had traveled to Washington, D.C.to "fix the tax system". Scalise is in critical condition.

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".

Back in IL at least one friend of Hodgkinson - who didn't give his full name - defended him, saying, "I just want to let people know he wasn't evil, that he was exhausted of some of the politics going on".

According to reports from The New York Daily News, Hodgkinson and his wife adopted a foster child; however, their daughter would never live past the age of 17, because she committed suicide. "She had no idea he felt as strong as he did", Wagner said. And she was shocked by the news, says it was totally unexpected. "There's nothing I could do about it".

Jack McClenahan, a retired Belleville business owner, said he had several unpleasant run-ins with Hodgkinson over the years while Hodgkinson protested a favored Democratic political cause outside the local post office. Her husband was at home all day with them, she said, and she thought he might have wanted a break.

Not mentioned: A June 8 social media post by Hodgkinson where he refers to Karen Handel, the Republican candidate for Georgia's open 6th Congressional District seat.

U.S. Rep. Mike Bost, a Murphysboro Republican whose 12th Congressional District covers the Belleville area, has said Hodgkinson contacted his offices a number of times, but none of the communication seemed threatening, according to Bost spokesman George O'Connor.

Officials were aware Hodgkinson was living out of a white cargo van in Alexandria for months and was seen showering and working on a computer at a nearby YMCA. Told they were GOP lawmakers, Hodgkinson walked back to his auto.

All three Congressmen on the shooter's hit list belong to the House Freedom Caucus, which is comprised of the House of Representative's most conservative members.

As we reported yesterday, Democrats in Congress have graciously reached out to Republicans, starting with praying for them Wednesday morning and joining them in prayer at the Congressional baseball game yesterday.

Also suffering relatively minor injuries were two Capitol Police officers, David Bailey and Crystal Griner, and House GOP aide Zack Barth.

Kentucky Senator Rand Paul, who was present at the shooting, commended the Capitol Police for their protection and quick response.

"I just wish this would all go away".


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