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FBI: Scalise Shooter Acted Alone; Had Anger Management Problem


WASHINGTON – The FBI has released new details into its investigation of the gunman who nearly killed Rep. Steve Scalise, R-La., and hurt four others at a Republican congressional baseball practice.  

The FBI says 66-year-old James T. Hodgkinson of Belleville, Illinois, acted alone, though investigators say they're still unsure of his exact motive.

Tim Slater, the special agent in charge of the Washington FBI office, says Hodgkinson was a troubled man known to have an anger management problem.

"I think he was struggling in a lot of aspects in his life," Slater told reporters at a news conference on Wednesday.

Slater said Hodgkinson, who had been in Alexandria since March, was running out of money, unemployed, and his marriage appeared to be on the rocks.

Hodgkinson volunteered for Sen. Bernie Sanders' presidential campaign and investigators say he had several anti-Republican posts on his social media accounts, but none incited violence.   

"His posts and his communications on social media were more rants about anti-Republican views, not threats," Slater said.

Slater also wouldn't call Hodgkinson's list of six Republican members found on a piece of paper a "hit list."

Investigators searched Hodgkinson's computer and found no internet searches of the Congressional Baseball Game or practice.  He did search the 2017 Republican Convention.

Scalise was shot in the hip and has undergone multiple surgeries. Doctors say the House majority whip is now in fair condition but faces more surgeries and a long road ahead.

This week, Capitol Hill is coming together in Scalise's honor for a blood drive.

It kicked off Tuesday with Vice President Mike Pence, Sen. Jeff Flake, R-Ariz., Rep. Darrell Issa, R-Calif., Rep. Jason Lewis, R-Minn., and other lawmakers showing up to support the cause.

Scalise thanked them by retweeting many of their posts from the drive.

The drive was organized by Rep. Patrick McHenry, R-N.C., who will step in for Scalise as chief deputy majority whip, and continues on Thursday at two locations: from 8:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. in the Rayburn House Office Building Foyer and from 9:00 AM  to 3:00 p.m. in Rayburn room 2050.

As for the two special agents shot at the baseball practice -- David Bailey and Crystal Griner--  Alexandria Police Chief Michael Brown says both are doing well.

"It's anticipated they'll return to full duty at some point," he said.

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