WASHINGTON (Washington Post) - The gunman who opened fire on a GOP baseball team in Virginia had a local storage locker with more than 200 rounds of ammunition that he visited daily, including less than an hour before he shot more than 60 times at the team during a morning practice on June 14.
A list containing the names of six members of Congress also was found on the gunman, James T. Hodgkinson, 66, but FBI agent Timothy R. Slater of the Washington Field Office Criminal Division said he would not characterise it as a hit list.
The updates on the investigation of the attack that wounded five, including House Majority Whip Steve Scalise, a Louisiana Republican, came on Wednesday (June 21) with the FBI saying it still was not clear what motivated the unemployed home inspector from Illinois to travel to the Washington-area where he spent months living in his van in Alexandria before launching the shootings.
At a Wednesday press conference, officials gave more details about Hodgkinson, calling him a desperate man who was unemployed, running out of money, taking prescription drugs, having anger management issues and in what the FBI was said a troubled marriage.
Hodgkinson was "struggling in all kinds of different ways", said Slater. The officials also described the June 14 shooting at the Eugene Simpson Stadium Park in Alexandria as more of a spontaneous event.
Since the shooting, law enforcement has been investigating what motivated Hodgkinson of Belleville, who died after a shootout with officers. They did not offer a clear answer on Wednesday and said they continue to investigate.
His wife has said in interviews that he left their home in Belleville saying he was headed to Washington to work on tax policy. The day before the attack, he engaged in a profane tirade against President Trump in a conversation with a mechanic in Alexandria, echoing some of the criticisms of Trump and Republicans that he had posted on social media accounts.
FBI officials said on Wednesday that they believe Hodgkinson acted alone and the incident had no "nexus to terrorism."
There was "no context included" with the list of names of members of Congress that was found on Hodgkinson, FBI officials said. They did not detail the names.
A review of one of Hodgkinson's laptops found that he had searched the web but "only cursory" searches of two of those members on the list.
A "rough sketch of several streets" in the District was also found, but officials said it was believed to be "not of investigative significance".
Authorities revealed on Wednesday that Hodgkinson purchased a 7.62mm calibre SKS rifle in March 2003 and a 9mm handgun in November 2016 legally through federal firearms licenses. The rifle had been modified, the FBI said.
Hodgkinson had made no direct threats to the Congressional baseball team, officials said. Officials said there were no specific mental health issues he had but one FBI official said Hodgkinson was "struggling in a lot of aspects in his life".
Slater, special agent in charge of the FBI Washington Field Office, said at the press conference that Hodgkinson was "known to have an anger management problem".
He said it appeared Hodgkinson was married for 30 years and the marriage was not "going so well".
Slater said Hodgkinson "suffered from taking some prescription medication".
He said it also appeared Hodgkinson was running out of money as he was living out of his van in Alexandria.
"It was just a period where you could tell things were not going well for Tom," as Hodgkinson was known, Slater said.
Hodgkinson's online political rants were mostly anti-Republican and officials said they were within his First Amendment rights. On the morning of the shooting, Hodgkinson had asked a witness near the field if it was Democrats or Republicans playing.
When the witness told him the team was Republicans, Hodgkinson stayed nearby.
Officials also said Hodgkinson had kept a storage locker in Alexandria and visited it 43 times between April and June, usually between 6am and 7am At times, he went to the unit daily and sometimes more than once. On the day of the shooting, he went to the unit at 6.23am and left at 6.35am.
When the unit was searched, authorities found components for the SKS rifle, a receipt for a November 2016 gun purchase, and 200 rounds of ammunition. Officials said they also searched the van he had been living out of in the parking lot of the YMCA and found indications that he intended to go home on his computer.
On the day of the incident, Hodgkinson shot at the players on the field with the semiautomatic rifle and the 9mm handgun and had bought the weapons from licensed gun deals, according to the FBI. There has been no evidence found, officials said, suggesting the gun sales were illegal.
In addition to his social media accounts, he wrote letters to his local newspaper that blamed Republicans for what he considered an agenda that helped the wealthy.
The group of lawmakers and staffers were practising for a charity game against a team of Democrats that was played the next day and raised over US$1 million (S$1.39 million).
Scalise was shot multiple times and gravely injured. He underwent several surgeries and remains hospitalised at MedStar Washington Hospital Centre.
He was in serious condition, according to a Twitter message from his office that was posted on Saturday (June 17).
A lobbyist, a congressional aide and a US Capitol Police officer were also shot in the incident. Another US Capitol Police officer was struck by shrapnel and Representative Roger Williams (a Texas Republican) injured his ankle while helping others take cover.
The officers, who were assigned to Scalise's security detail, and exchanged gunfire with Hodgkinson were credited with helping prevent more people from being injured that day.
The FBI had said Hodgkinson came to Alexandria in March. He had become somewhat of a fixture at the YMCA, carrying a laptop and a gym bag but never working out. He would watch the field where the Republican baseball team had been practising for about two months.
Some users of the YMCA noticed him but later said they were never suspicious of him, while others described him as odd or a "sourpuss".
Online and to his local newspaper, he made a trail of political rants against the "super rich" and Republicans. One recent Facebook post of his read: "Trump is a Traitor. Trump Has Destroyed Our Democracy. It's Time to Destroy Trump & Co."
Hodgkinson had been involved in a protest in Belleville, Illinois, where he was living outside a US post office building.
A photo in the local paper showed him with a sign that read, "Tax the Rich."
He also had several run-ins with local law enforcement in Illinois and disagreements with neighbours, including shooting off rounds into pine trees. He had defended the shooting at his home as "target practice".
The shooting last week in Alexandria raised concerns about the rough political tone and divide around the country.