Here's our look at the Trump administration and the rest of Washington
- Trump suggests the special counsel and his Russia probe team are conflicted by their Comey and Clinton ties
- President signs bill to ease discipline and firing of Veterans Affairs Department employees
- Mexico objects to Trump's inaccurate tweet that it is the world's "second deadliest country"
- With the release ofSenate Republicans' healthcare bill, party leaders struggle to line up support
The Alexandria, Va., shooter apparently left his home in Illinois and spent weeks hanging out at a YMCA near the ball field where he shot at Republican congressmen and staffers.
James T. Hodgkinson, killed in a shootout with police, has been in the Alexandria area since March, FBI Special Agent Tim Slater told reporters at a news conference.
Hodgkinson would spend hours sitting in the lobby of the YMCA, staring at his laptop, said member Stephen Brennman.
Hodgkinson, 66, of Belleville, Ill., never dressed in workout clothes, but was usually dressed in polyester pants, collared shirts and a flat hat resembling a beret, Brennman says.
“I saw him over the course of weeks and weeks,” said Brennman, a lawyer with offices in Washington. Brennman, who lives in Alexandria, says he talks with everyone, to the point of people jokingly calling him the Y’s “social director.”
But Hodgkinson never looked at him and never said a word, he said.
“He was always in his own little world,” he said. “I never saw him talk to anybody.
“It’s just a friendly place, but I didn’t see him interacting with anybody at all. Just a blank stare.”
At first, Brennman said, he figured Hodgkinson was a contractor. “He looked like that kind of guy, like a guy who would come and sell you siding. Then it was like – what is he doing here?”
Brennman said he was curious but never asked staff members about him.
Former Alexandria Mayor Bill Euille, in an interview in the Washington Post, also said Hodgkinson began showing up at the YMCA weeks ago.
Hodgkinson would typically sit in one of two places, Brennman said, in the main lobby or with his back to a window. If he turned around and looked out that window, he would have had a good view of the ball field.
“The guy had to know something was going on that day. The only people I saw play baseball or softball there were kids,” Brennman said.
When he saw the shooter’s picture on CNN, Brennman said, the man looked familiar, but he couldn’t place him. “I’m in the shower, really racking my brain, and it came to me: Oh my God, it’s that guy sitting there with his laptop. I got chills all over.”