What We Know About The Suspect In GOP Baseball Practice Shooting

Belleville, Ill., man who shot at GOP congressional members campaigned for Bernie Sanders

Belleville, Ill., man who shot at GOP congressional members campaigned for Bernie Sanders

Sen. Bernie Sanders, who led a progressive, left-wing populist effort that very almost won him the Democratic presidential nomination, condemned the shooting Wednesday at a congressional baseball practice - and acknowledged the suspect was apparently a supporter of his campaign.

"The only thing I was concerned about was that it was such a high-powered gun, and that somebody could possibly get hurt".

The incident happened March 24, according to sheriff's officials, just days before Hodgkinson presumably left IL for Virginia.

He is believed by investigators to have been a person "of strong views", the US official said, without elaborating.

Hodgkinson appears to have written more than a dozen letters to the Belleville News-Democrat, a local paper, from 2010 to 2012.

A Facebook page belonging to a person with the same name includes pictures of Democratic presidential candidate, Bernie Sanders, and rhetoric against President Trump, including a post that reads: "Trump is a Traitor". Donald Trump Jr., the son of the president, retweeted Hill's comment - adding "This".

The suspect in a shooting at a GOP congressional baseball practice has been identified.

"Trump is Guilty & Should Go to Prison for Treason, " Hodgkinson wrote.

"Trump Has Destroyed Our Democracy, " he said. "It's Time to Destroy Trump & Co".

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Sanders, an independent from Vermont, campaigned for the Democratic nomination a year ago.

Hodgkinson's profile picture was a USA flag overlaid with the slogan, "Democratic Socialism explained in 3 words: 'We the People.' Since 1776".

Hodgkinson's Facebook page indicates that, until recently, he ran a home-inspection business out of his home in Belleville, in the southwestern corner of the state, across the Mississippi River from St. Louis. Battery charges against Hodgkinson and his wife were later dismissed.

He pleaded guilty to a 2007 speeding offense, driving 15 to 20 miles per hour over the limit, according to court records in Jefferson County, Illinois.

Investigators are focusing on what could have motivated him by talking to family members, friends and coworkers, and looking into whether there are identifiers on social media. He started his own company, JTH Inspections, in 1994 and conducted home inspections and mold/air quality testing.

"Republicans are the Taliban of the U.S.", he posted in February. "Many, many, many thousands of people came through the Sanders campaign offices".

"I have just been informed that the alleged shooter at the Republican baseball practice was someone who apparently volunteered on my presidential campaign".

According to a story from The Washington Post, Charles Orear, 50, met and became friendly with Hodgkinson while campaigning for Sanders in Iowa.

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