Visibly shaken, Suzanne Hodgkinson, wife of James T. Hodgkinson, 66, the man accused of opening fire on a Congressional baseball practice Wednesday morning, carefully moved to the cascade of microphones and spoke to reporters for the first time since the shooting on Thursday.
Rep. Steve Scalise and four others were injured in the shooting.
She was escorted by St. Clair Illinois, Deputy Chief Rick Wagner. She has not been living with her husband since March, when he moved to the Washington D.C. area.
“I can’t believe he did this. I cannot believe it,” she said.
Mrs. Hodgkinson says she was at work when she first heard the news. She says she learned her husband was involved when she received a call from a news reporter.
She told reporters, “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.”
Noah Nathan was walking past the Republican congressional baseball practice in Alexandria, Va., when he heard gunshots.
His recording, obtained by “PBS NewsHour,” lasts for just over five minutes. In it, roughly 64 to 66 shots can be heard.
Warning: Video contains graphic content.
The couple had been married for 30 years. He started his own company, JTH Inspections, in 1994 and conducted home inspections and mold/air-quality testing.
Her husband sold almost everything from his businesses before he moved to the east coast. He told her he was moving to work with people to change the tax brackets. Illinois state records show that he dissolved his company on January 10.
She said solemnly, “I’m sorry that he did this, but there’s nothing I can do about it.”
Meanwhile we’re getting more insight in the life of James T. Hodgkinson.
The New York Post is reporting that their foster daughter, Wanda Ashley Stock, 17, had only been living with James Hodgkinson, 66, and his wife for a few months when the teen doused herself with gasoline and burned to death in 1996.
Several years later, the family fostered another teen girl, whom they later lost custody of after Hodgkinson was accused of abusing her.
In 2006, he charged into a neighbor’s home where the foster daughter was hanging out with a friend, then 19 year-old Aimee Moreland, and smacked the pal in the face “with a closed fist,” according to the Daily Beast.
At one point, he allegedly pointed a shotgun at Moreland’s boyfriend and popped off one round.
“According to his foster daughter, he was always angry,” Moreland told the Daily Beast. “She was really unhappy there. She had come over to get away from them.”
During the dispute, Moreland said, she jumped in a car with her friend, but Hodgkinson opened the vehicle’s door and hit her, then used a knife to cut the seat belt off his foster daughter.
He was arrested for domestic battery and discharge of a firearm, but the charges were later dropped.