Metro-East News

Wife says Hodgkinson told her he was going to Capitol to ‘change the tax brackets’

James T. Hodgkinson was going to change taxes, wife of shooter says

Suzanne Hodgkinson came out of her home near Belleville, IL, to talk to the media about her husband, James "Tom" Hodgkinson. She had no clue he wanted to shoot members of Congress. She also thought he was coming home after running out of money.
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Suzanne Hodgkinson came out of her home near Belleville, IL, to talk to the media about her husband, James "Tom" Hodgkinson. She had no clue he wanted to shoot members of Congress. She also thought he was coming home after running out of money.

The wife of James Hodgkinson said her husband told her he was going to Washington, D.C. to “work on taxes” and “change the tax brackets.”

Suzanne Hodgkinson, who spoke to the press at her home Thursday afternoon, said she had “no idea” her husband was going to shoot at people during a practice for a congressional baseball game in Alexandria, Virginia.

James Hodgkinson is the Belleville man who shot a congressman and three others Wednesday during practice for the baseball game.

Suzanne Hodgkinson said she didn’t want to comment on her husband’s political views, but said she was not on the best terms with him. They had been married for 30 years.

She said her husband sold almost all of his possessions before leaving their Belleville home early this year, shortly after their daughter and her 2-year-old son came home. Suzanne Hodgkinson said she did not consider it odd that he left so abruptly, and maybe her husband just wanted a break. When asked further about their living situation, she said it was a personal matter.

“I feel horrible,” Suzanne Hodgkinson told a group of reporters. She said she and her husband haven’t been together since March. She added she didn’t notice any sign that he was going to commit any kind of crime, and did not know he took his guns with him when they left.

“I had no idea this was going to happen, and I don’t know what to say about it. I can’t wrap my head around it,” she said, trembling as she clung to the arm of St. Clair County Deputy Richard Wagner.

When asked if she wanted to say anything about the victims of the attack, she shook her head. “I don’t even know who was shot,” she said, “I’m sorry that he did this but there’s nothing I can do about it.”

I don’t even know who was shot. I’m sorry that he did this but there’s nothing I can do about it.

Suzanne Hodgkinson

She agreed to speak to the press only if they would leave her property afterward, the deputy had told reporters beforehand.

“I can’t believe he did this. I just want you all to go away and leave my neighbors in peace,” she said, referring to the press. “They don’t deserve this, I don’t deserve this, my daughters don’t deserve all this.”

She said she first heard about her husband’s connection with the shooting from a reporter on the phone, while she was at work.

After about 7 minutes of speaking with reporters, she turned to the deputy to ask if she could leave.

“I’ve had enough,” she said.

She was taken back up to the house in a police vehicle.

Maj. Richard Wagner, chief deputy and patrol commander with the St. Clair County Sheriff's Department, talks about congressional shooter James T. Hodgkinson and the aftermath of the shooting in Alexandria, Virginia.

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