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

Gunman James Thomas Hodgkinson, 66, of Belleville, Ill., is believed to have targeted congressional Republicans when he opened fire on their practice for a charity baseball game.

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.

"People, at certain times, take things deeply to heart and react and do things that really are unconscionable as we saw in D.C.", he said.

O'Connor said Bost's office has turned over all of their communications from Hodgkinson to U.S. Capitol Police.

Sue Hodgkinson said she was married to James Hodgkinson for almost 30 years, but they have not been together since March, when he moved to Washington, D.C.

"If you put two people in front of me and said pick the person you think did what happened today, he would not have been on my radar", the former mayor said.

"I am sickened by this despicable act", Bernie Sanders said.

"I felt bad for the guy", she said. What did she say? She said Hodgkinson was home all day, and she suspected he left because "he just wanted a break from it".


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".

Euille said he spoke to the Federal Bureau of Investigation on Wednesday about his encounters with the shooter. He had run out of money, his wife told reporters.

Sanders issued a two-paragraph statement on the shooting and read it almost verbatim on the Senate floor.

In the wake of this tragedy, all we can do is pray for the continued healing of Louisiana Congressmen Steve Scalise and give thanks that the lives of Congressmen Brooks and Palmer and so many others were spared Wednesday morning. He is still in the ICU in critical condition. (Ironically, the game the congressmen were preparing for is a traditionally friendly rivalry between the two parties.) At times like this, myriad questions arise. And then one neighbor told us that he and his family kept to themselves.

Scalise had surgery on Thursday that a MedStar Washington Hospital Center statement said was related to his internal injuries and a broken bone in his leg.

Scalise, 51, was in dire condition when he was first shot, but internal bleeding is under control and the prognosis is positive. Because he is part of the Republican leadership, Scalise has protection from the US Capitol Police. A congressional staffer, Zach Barth, was shot in the leg; he was released from the hospital Wednesday afternoon, the Post reports.

Sources tell ABC News that the primary weapon used in shooting was a SKS 7.62 assault style rifle.

This 2006 photo provided by the St. Clair County, Ill., Sheriff's Department shows James T. Hodgkinson.

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