FBI: Man who opened fire on Republican baseball team had list of six names, no target in mind

The FBI on Wednesday gave an update on its investigation into James T. Hodgkinson, the man who opened fire on congressional Republicans as they practiced for a charity baseball game. Reading the AP’s write-up, though, has some people thinking they now know less than they did before about Hodgkinson and his motives.

Once readers make it past the headline — “FBI: Gunman who shot congressman had no target in mind” — they’re told that Hodgkinson, as was reported earlier, did have a piece of paper with the names of six members of Congress written on it, “but the note lacked any further context,” so the legislators listed on it aren’t considered to have been targeted.

True: the whole opening fire at a Republican baseball practice does seem to be a big clue to piecing together Hodgkinson’s motive.

As we learned from the New York Times earlier, the shooter lived a troubled home life, and the FBI’s press conference Wednesday again “painted a picture of a down-on-his-luck man with few future prospects. Hodgkinson was taking prescription drugs, although [the FBI’s Tim] Slater did not say what the drugs were for or whether he was abusing them.”

“It was just a pattern of life where you could tell things were not going well,” Slater added.

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