Gunman who shot congressman had history of anti-GOP activity

This photo from Facebook shows James T. Hodgkinson. A government official says Hodgkinson is the suspect in the Virginia shooting that injured Rep. Steve Scalise and several others. (Facebook via AP)

The Associated Press < p>

Two guns possessed by Steve Scalise's shooter James T. Hodgkinson were purchased and possessed legally, according to a statement from the FBI. 

The two weapons recovered by police after the shooting of the majority whip and four others in Alexandria, Virginia were a 9 mm handgun as well as a 7.62 caliber rifle, according to a release. 

"ATF has conducted traces on these weapons and has determined that both were purchased by the shooter from federal firearms licensees. We currently have no evidence to suggest that the purchases were not lawful," reads the statement.

Authorities say they are examining a cell phone, a computer and a camera found inside a white van where Hodgkinson had been living. The 66-year-old Belleville man had apparently been living out of the van in the D.C.-area for three months before the shooting, according to reports. 

Hodgkinson died at a hospital after he was shot by return fire from Capitol Police officers, who were one hand at the baseball field for the GOP practice ahead of Thursday's Congressional game. 

His van was parked in a YMCA parking lot adjacent to where the shooting took place, according to the report. 

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The FBI statement added that the scene is continuing to be analyzed for the shooting trajectory, and road closures will continue at least into the weekend. 

Hodgkinson, whose background features several run-ins with police, had a public social media presence that included staunch opposition to GOP figures, as well as support for former presidential candidate Bernie Sanders. He had also volunteered on Sander's campaign. The Vermont senator quickly made a statement denouncing his actions, saying he was "sickened by this despicable act."

Most recently, police spoke with Hodgkinson in March after receiving complaints of a man firing 50 shots in the woods near several homes. Police advised him to stop, but took no action because he "wasn't doing anything illegal," according to the St. Clair Sheriff's Office. 

Scalise (R-Jefferson) remains in critical condition after being struck in the left hip and rushed to a Washington hospital. Scalise was undergoing his third surgery on Thursday, but sources have said his life is not in jeopardy. 

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