Who is James Hodgkinson? Shooter was Anti-Republican and Anti-Trump


Turns out, Wednesday’s shooter, 66-year old James T. Hodgkinson from Belleville, Illinois, was an anti-Trump, Republican-hating Bernie Sanders supporter with a history of domestic violence.

Hodgkinson opened fire on Republican members of Congress Wednesday morning at a baseball field in Alexandria, Virginia. President Donald Trump said Hodgkinson was shot by police at the scene and later died at a local hospital.

The motive for the shooting is not yet known, but after looking at Hodgkinson’s Facebook page, it’s pretty obvious. From his page, you can see Hodgkinson had a big interest in politics, and supported Bernie Sanders during the 2016 presidential election. He also shows a lot of anger towards President Donald Trump and Republican Congressmen. Here’s what we know…

1. Hodgkinson was a businessman with a family

Hodgkinson owned a company, JTH Inspections, also called JTH Construction, and studied at Southern Illinois University-Edwardsville. He went to Belleville Township High School, but also studied flight training at Southwestern Illinois College. Belleville is a town of about 40,000 people across the Mississippi River from St. Louis.

According to KMOV-TV, Hodgkinson was married and according to his wife’s Facebook page, he has a daughter and grandchildren.

2. Hodgkinson was an avid Facebooker with 2 profiles

james hodgkinson, james hodgkinson illinois, james hodgkinson facebook, james hodgkinson bernie sanders

Hodgkinson’s Facebook page has a profile picture about Democratic Socialism reading, “Democratic Socialism explained in 3 words: ‘We the People’ Since 1776.” He also has a banner image of Senator Bernie Sanders.


Hodgkinson had two pages, including several political posts, expressing anger in the recent weeks with the Trump administration and Republican politicians. He also expressed his undying support for Sanders and progressive politics, but also his hatred for Hillary Clinton. On March 22, Hodgkinson posted:

“Trump is a Traitor. Trump Has Destroyed Our Democracy. It’s Time to Destroy Trump & Co.”

james hodgkinson trump

Two days ago on his second Facebook page, Hodgkinson wrote:

“I Want to Say Mr. President, for being an ass hole you are Truly the Biggest Ass Hole We Have Ever Had in the Oval Office.”

On June 12, he wrote “Make America Great Again, Resign!,” with a meme of Trump with the words, “All in all it’s just another prick in the wall.” Hodgkinson also writing:

“Trump is Guilty & Should Go to Prison for Treason. Trump is a Mean, Disgusting Person.”

He has been critical of the Trump administration and called for Democrats to fight against it.

3. He was a Bernie Sanders Campaign Volunteer and Anti-Hillary Clinton

james hodgkinsonHodgkinson campaigned for Sanders in Iowa while Sanders ran for the Democratic presidential nomination last year. Charles Orear, 50, of St. Louis, worked alongside him and called Hodgkinson a “passionate progressive who showed no signs of violence or malice toward others.” Orear told the newspaper:

“You’ve got to be kidding me. I met him on the Bernie trail in Iowa, worked with him in the Quad Cities area. He was a quiet guy, very mellow, very reserved. He was this union tradesman, pretty stocky, and we stayed up talking politics. He was more on the really progressive side of things.”

After Sanders had lost the Democratic nomination, Hodgkinson posted on Facebook, “I want Bernie to Win the White House,” with a petition calling for Sanders to join the Green Party.

It was also pretty obvious he hated Hillary Clinton, posting: “Bernie is a Progressive, while Hillary is Republican Lite.” In another he wrote, “#ScreamAsOne #NeverVotingHill,” and “You’ve been warned DNC. I will NEVER vote Hillary. A nomination for Hillary equals a win for Trump. #NOTWithHer.”

Hodgkinson also posted:
“Bernie is the Only Candidate in Decades that Really Cares about the Working Class. … Bernie is a Candidate of a Lifetime. We Need Bernie in the White House. Bernie is the Only Candidate Talking about the Issues.”

Sanders said he is “sickened by this despicable act” in his statement:

“I have just been informed that the alleged shooter at the Republican baseball practice is someone who apparently volunteered on my presidential campaign. I am sickened by this despicable act. Let me be as clear as I can be. Violence of any kind is unacceptable in our society and I condemn this action in the strongest possible terms. Real change can only come about through nonviolent action and anything else runs against our most deeply held American values. My hopes and prayers are that Representative Scalise, congressional staff and the Capitol Police Officers who were wounded make a quick and full recovery. I also want to thank the Capitol Police for their heroic actions to prevent further harm.”

4. Hodgkinson has a history of domestic violence, assault, and shooting at a man

Hodgkinson was charged with battery and aiding damage to a vehicle in April 2006 in St. Clair County, Illinois, but the charges were dismissed. According to NBC News, Hodgkinson pulled hair out of his girlfriend’s head during the incident. Police seized a pocket knife and a 12-gauge shotgun at the scene.

 During that incident in 2006, Hodgkinson was also accused of punching another man’s girlfriend “in the face with a closed fist,” according to a police report. Hodgkinson then followed the man outside of the house with a shotgun and fired one round.

Police said in the report Hodgkinson was “observed throwing” an unidentified woman “around the bedroom,” during that same incident and then following her when she broke free, “hitting her arms, pulling her hair.” The woman tried to leave in a vehicle and Hodgkinson reached into it and “turned off the ignition.” “James then pulled out a possible pocket knife and cut (the woman’s) seatbelt.”

According to the Belleville News-Democrat, his record also included charges for failing to obtain electrical permits, damaging a motor vehicle, resisting a police officer, eluding police, critical damage to property, driving under the influence and traffic offenses.

NBC News reports police went to Hodgkinson’s Illinois home in March 2017 for a report of shots fired. 911 callers reporting hearing 50 shots. According to police, Hodgkinson was found with a weapon and a valid Illinois firearms license. The officers told Hodgkinson not to fire his weapon near his home because of neighbors nearby. He was not arrested in that incident.

5. Hodgkinson had massive hatred towards Congressional Republicans, and shared an Anti-Scalise Cartoon

On May 26, Hodgkinson shared a post from “Republicans Suck,” saying, “Republicans Hate Women, Minorities, Working Class People, & Most All (99%) of the People of the Country.”

He seemed angered by the GOP’s health care plan writing on May 31:

“Higher Costs & Less Coverage. Who Would Have Thought That the Republican Law Makers Don’t Give a Damn About the Working Class in this Country.”

On June 8, he wrote:

“Founding Fathers Would Hate What Our Democracy Has Morphed Into. We Now Have an Aristocracy, a Corporatocracy, & an Oligarchy, & a Plutocracy. This Turns Our Country Into a Fascist State! Vote Blue, It’s Right for You!”

Hodgkinson shared several cartoons in 2015, including one that was critical of Representative Steve Scalise, one of the wounded in his shootout, writing:

“Here’s a Republican that should Lose His Job, but they Gave Him a Raise.”

The cartoon shows Scalise speaking before a group of hooded KKK members, referencing the 2014 incident when it was reported Scalise had spoken to a white supremacist group, with the caption:

“When I spoke to a racist group in 2002 it was an innocent mistake. I had no idea who they were. I couldn’t see their faces.”

hodgkinson scalise cartoon

Hodgkinson was also the member of Facebook groups “Terminate the Republican Party,” “The Road to Hell Is Paved With Republicans,” “Boycott the Republican Party,” “Expose Republican Fraud,” “Donald Trump is not my president,” and “Illinois Berners United to Resist Trump.”


6. Hodgkinson recently moved to Virginia and was spotted at the YMCA multiple times near the baseball field before the shooting

james hodgkinson

Hodgkinson owned a home inspection business in Illinois, and described his job as being a “home inspector, Mold Air/Quality Tester.” But according to his Facebook page, he “left” that job in December 2016, though it is not clear if he shut down the company or what the circumstances were.

Hodgkinson was a licensed home inspector from 1994 to 1997, when it expired. He held the same license again from 2003 to 2016, when it was not renewed.

Hodgkinson’s wife told ABC News that he had been living in Alexandria, Virginia, for about 2 months.

Stephen Brennwald, an Alexandria resident and attorney told the Washington Post he had seen Hodgkinson hanging out over the past several weeks in the lobby of the YMCA near the baseball field where Wednesday’s shooting happened, and would come to the YMCA first thing in the morning, take out his laptop or stare out of the window. Brennwald added:

“He never worked out. He never talked to anybody. He never did anything. He’d just sit there and stare at his laptop. It didn’t seem right, but I figured maybe he’s a law enforcement guy monitoring something. He had this kind of faraway stare.”

Hodgkinson’s brother, Michael Hodgkinson told the New York Times he was distraught about the election saying:

“I know he wasn’t happy with the way things were going, the election results and stuff. But the shooting is totally out of the blue. He was engaged in politics, but lived a normal life.”

Michael Hodgkinson told the Times he spoke to his brother’s wife Tuesday who told him James was planning on returning home soon because he missed her and their dogs.

james hodgkinson


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