Belleville residents react to Alexandria, Va., shooting
In the wake of the Congressional baseball practice shooting, Belleville residents continue to ask questions about James Hodgkinson.
Hodgkinson was named as the shooter at the Congressional baseball practice Wednesday morning, in which at least five people were wounded and he was killed by police.
The shooting rattled Belleville residents when the community learned Hodgkinson lived in town. Law enforcement officials and the media swarmed his home at 5941 Rolling Hills Lane.
Tammy Foster, a Belleville resident for 25 years, received a call from her brother Wednesday morning about the shooting. When she answered Foster’s brother told her about an unexpected detail.
The shooter lived in Belleville.
“I was devastated,” Foster said. “It’s just horrible.”
Shawn Pfaff grew up in Belleville. He learned of the shooting late Wednesday morning while at the Belleville Public Library.
“It kind of makes me feel a little bit ashamed,” Pfaff said.
Pfaff said he doesn’t want Belleville residents to be portrayed in a negative light.
David Sodam, a longtime Belleville resident, felt differently about the shooter’s connection to his city.
“I have no shame against Belleville,” Sodam said. “People have a right to live anywhere they want. And, if they decide to be a terrorist it has no reflection on their hometown.”
Belleville resident Elizabeth Day was concerned about Hodgkinson’s mental health.
“Was it political or mental illness?” Day asked. “Everyone has a little depression in them and it comes out at the worst time. You never know.”
In an email to the Belleville News-Democrat, Monsignor John Myler, Rector of the Cathedral of St. Peter Belleville, shared his thoughts about the shooting.
“Of course, we pray to the Lord for the victims— for the congressmen, for the security personnel — for their healing and help,” Myler said. “And we pray for the family members of the alleged shooter. Living here in our own city, they are no doubt confused and in mourning themselves. We pray that they be consoled.
“And, let’s pray too for all our city. May each of us in Belleville both in word and in deed echo a clear ‘No!’ to violence and vengeance and hatred.”