Mechanic indicates Alexandria baseball gunman intended to return to Illinois after shooting – Chicago Tribune

For three months, James T. Hodgkinson lived out of a white cargo van in a gentrified neighborhood just miles from where U.S. laws are made. Fellow YMCA patrons saw him there most mornings working on his laptop. One bartender said he spent many evenings quietly sipping cans of Budweiser by himself.

The Bernie Sanders supporter told his wife he had an interest in tax policy, and he sold his Harley motorcycle and home inspection business before making the trip in March. By Tuesday, he seemed ready to come home, asking a mechanic to make sure his tires would survive the trip back to Illinois.

That was a day before he sprayed rifle fire at Republican members of Congress as they practiced for a charity baseball game, wounding House Majority Whip Steve Scalise and four others before he was mortally wounded by police. And it was at that auto shop that his anger flared during small talk with the mechanic.

“This man was just so passionate and hateful toward (President Donald) Trump,” said Crist Dauberman, recounting Hodgkinson’s profanity-laden tirade. Among other things, Hodgkinson said Trump had screwed up the country “more than anyone in the history of this country.” The Del Ray Service Center is known as a “neutral zone” of sorts when it comes to politics; lawmakers of both parties take their cars there.

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