The Daily Caller reports that shooter James Hodgkinson had a list of names on him when he carried out his attack on GOP congressmen:
The list was written out on notepad paper and found in the shooter’s pocket, according to multiple sources with intimate knowledge of the situation, who spoke on condition of anonymity, citing the sensitivity of the investigation. The list of names included Alabama Rep. Mo Brooks, South Carolina Rep. Jeff Duncan and Arizona Rep. Trent Franks, The DC has confirmed.
The FBI has contacted at least one of the three congressmen to inform them of their inclusion on the list.
The Caller notes that Reps. Brooks and Duncan were at the practice when Hodgkinson opened fire. It’s not clear from the story if there are more names on the list or how many, but the Caller does describe it as a list of Republicans. Frankly, at this point, there’s no reason to doubt that is who Hodgkinson was intentionally targeting. Obviously, this suggests an additional level of planning to the shooting.
This list is a small detail but it’s one that adds to the suggestion that this was planned out to some degree. Yesterday the Washington Post had a story on Hodgkinson’s movements prior to the attack. He had been, almost literally, living in a van down by the river. He spent most of his time at a YMCA gym near the ball field in Alexandria. He would show up first thing in the morning, take the parking spot near the door, set up his laptop and proceed to stare out the window. And then one morning his van wasn’t in its usual parking spot:
Laura Russell, 34, was leaving the gym and within minutes was hiding behind a car to avoid gunfire.
She’d noticed a white van parked in front of the YMCA every morning for the past month in the “sweet spot” by the front door.
But on Wednesday when she arrived, she said it wasn’t there.
“He was parked right up at a spot by third base. He was planning this.”
Kurt Shillinger and Eric Habert in Belleville, Ill., contributed to this report.
So it’s definitely starting to look like he was planning this, though it’s still an open question how much. According to his wife, she had no idea what he was planning:
“I just don’t know what to tell you people. I had no idea this was going to happen and I don’t know what to say about it. I can’t wrap my head around it, OK?” Sue Hodgkinson said.
She was emotional as she spoke to reporters Thursday outside her home in Belleville, Illinois. She said she thought her husband,, had gone to the Washington area to work on tax policy.
Assuming that’s truly what he said, it’s an interesting claim, because Hodgkinson’s Facebook page and letters to the editor of the local paper seemed obsessed with his ideas to change tax policy to combat income inequality.
The FBI is investigating the shooter’s laptop and phone which could also hold clues about his plans. Eventually, that information will come out and we’ll have a clear idea of exactly how much planning went into this.