Metro-East News

Five days later, few details are available in Hodgkinson death, FBI investigation

Chief deputy discusses James T. Hodgkinson, aftermath of shooting

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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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.

The agencies investigating the shooting at a public baseball field Wednesday in Alexandria, Virginia said they wouldn’t release further information Monday.

The FBI’s investigation continues into the shooting in Alexandria, where police say James T. Hodgkinson opened fire on GOP congressmen practicing for an annual charity fundraiser game. Hodgkinson, 66, was from Belleville.

An FBI spokeswoman declined to comment on details of the investigation, including whether Hodgkinson’s wife was subject to further questioning, though the spokeswoman said further details might be available later this week. Suzanne Hodgkinson said Thursday she had “no idea” her husband was going to do what he did.

James T. Hodgkinson died of multiple gunshot wounds to the torso after congressional police officers shot him, but the medical examiner’s office will not release further details because of privacy laws in the District of Columbia, according to the District of Columbia Office of the Chief Medical Examiner.

The D.C. medical examiner’s office conducted Hodgkinson’s autopsy last week and released the cause and manner of death. Medical examiner reports, such as toxicology or autopsy reports, are kept confidential by law in D.C., according to a spokeswoman for the medical examiner’s office.

“Outside of providing cause and manner by law, we cannot provide any additional information as to when a body is released, if it’s cremated, so on and so forth,” said spokeswoman LaShon Beamon.

In Illinois, toxicology and autopsy reports are considered public documents and are subject to the Freedom of Information Act. In D.C., medical examiner reports are not considered public, Beamon said, and are only available to next of kin, law enforcement, mayors and fatality review committees.

Police said Hodgkinson shot and injured four victims at the ball park, including U.S. Rep. Steve Scalise of Louisiana. The House Majority Whip’s condition was upgraded from critical to serious Saturday. He was speaking with family members and watching a Louisiana State University baseball game, according to his Twitter feed.

Meanwhile, the shooting is being used by a conservative group, Principled PAC, in a Georgia special election, which will be held Tuesday. The group released a video shooting footage of Scalise being rolled on a gurney and Kathy Griffin’s controversial video of her holding a bloody depiction of President Trump’s head to encourage Georgia voters to “stop the violent left.”

“The unhinged left is endorsing and applauding shooting Republicans,” a woman said in the video. “When will it stop? It won’t.”

The video goes on to say these “unhinged leftists” support Democratic nominee Jon Ossoff and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi.

The video says voters need to “stop” them by voting for Karen Handel, Ossoff’s challenger and Republican candidate for Georgia's 6th Congressional District Special Election.

Kelsey Landis: 618-239-2110, @kelseylandis

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