Metro-East News

Neighbor with sign for GOP candidate thinks Hodgkinson slashed tires

James Hodgkinson
James Hodgkinson

A neighbor who put up a campaign sign for a Republican candidate during the 2016 election season said Thursday he thinks James Hodgkinson slashed his tires.

Jacob Borsch said that in late October or early November, he put up a political sign in support of Republican Dallas Cook, who was running for St. Clair County circuit clerk.

Borsch said shortly after putting up the sign, his and his father’s tires were slashed on their vehicles. While at first Borsch wasn’t sure who to blame, he said he now believes Hodgkinson — the rural Belleville man who died Wednesday after opening fire at a practice for a congressional baseball game — was responsible.

“And I sure didn’t put any more political signs in my yard after that,” Borsch said.

The Hodgkinson neighborhood on Rolling Hills Lane on the outskirts of Belleville, which was swarmed Wednesday by media and federal agents, was relatively quiet on Thursday. A half-dozen news vans and a few police cars remained Thursday, one day after the Virginia shooting that left a congressman in critical condition.

“No trespassing” signs loomed in the long driveway of the Hodgkinson residence, as well as in the yards of neighbors. Those who entered or left through the gravel drive typically sped past, avoiding the reporters in the yard.

On Thursday afternoon, three cars pulled up to the Hodgkinson home. A neighbor said she recognized one vehicle that may belong to a friend of Hodgkinson’s wife, Sue Hodgkinson. Another vehicle belonged to an FBI agent.

In letters to the editor of the Belleville News-Democrat, James Hodgkinson often railed against Republicans.