Court records from St. Clair County, Illinois, reveal a troubled man with a long history of violence. More than 30 criminal and civil cases dating back to 1989 involve the Alexandria shooter, James Hodgkinson.
The charges against Belleville, Illinois, resident ranged from battery and causing bodily harm, to fleeing from police, to numerous traffic offenses, including driving under the influence of alcohol. In the vast majority of those cases, the charges were dismissed.
The gunman also had three domestic violence cases on his record – one involving the reckless discharge of a gun in 2006.
Another incident stated he allegedly beat his own daughter.
In recent months, Hodgkinson had reportedly been living in Alexandria, Virginia. Former Mayor Bill Euille told WUSA’s Peggy Fox he’d recently met the suspect at the local YMCA.
“He never expressed himself, at least to me politically,” the former mayor said. “No signs of depression.”
“There was nothing…he was normal as anyone else,” Euille said. “If there were two people that I had to pick out who would be the person who would go out and do what he did today, I would have never picked him in the line-up.”
Hodgkinson’s Facebook page paints a portrait of a man with strong political views. He was a member of fiercely anti-Republican Facebook groups. And he served as a presidential campaign volunteer for Bernie Sanders, who took to the Senate floor to condemn his act of violence.
The suspect was also a prolific letter writer to his hometown newspaper, the Belleville News-Democrat. He called President Donald Trump a traitor, and blasted the Republican party as being racist and sexist.
Hodgkinson had owned a home inspection company, but filed paperwork earlier this year to dissolve the business.
Wednesday revealed a lot about the man behind the shooting, but authorities do not yet know his motive.