U.S. Rep. Jeff Duncan said he wants to know more about why he was included on a list of names written by the man who shot and injured five people during a congressional baseball practice last month.
The FBI revealed a few days after the June 14 shooting that the gunman James Hodgkinson had kept a piece of paper with the names six members of Congress on it. While the names have not been officially released, various national media outlets have reported the six are all Republican congressmen who are members of the conservative House Freedom Caucus. Duncan’s name was among them.
Alexandria Police say Hodgkinson opened fire at Republican members of Congress while they practiced ahead of their annual baseball game against Democrats. Five people were shot, including U.S. Rep. Steve Scalise, lobbyist Matt Mika, a House staffer and two Capitol Police officers who returned fire. All survived the shooting, although Mika and Scalise were critically injured. Hodgkinson was fatally injured by the officers.
Duncan, who said he briefly spoke to the shooter but left minutes before the attack began, told Greenwood affiliate WCRS he wants to know more about that list. “The six of us want to find out what they know, have a briefing and be able to ask questions,” he said. “And I think the team in general wants the FBI to brief us on their investigation.”
AUDIO: Duncan speaks with WCRS about his name being on baseball shooter’s list (3:01)
The FBI said last month it is not considering the paper a “hit list” at this time, but Special Agent in Charge Timothy Slater of the Washington field office said it is “unclear” why Hodgkinson had the list. Authorities found the list along with ammunition and rifle components in a storage locker Hodgkinson had rented in the weeks before the shooting.
None of the victims’ names were on Hodgkinson’s list and the only ones said to be on the list and also present at the practice were Duncan and fellow U.S. Rep. Mo Brooks of Alabama. Since Duncan left early, only Brooks was present when the shooting began.
Duncan told WCRS host Anne Eller he does not share the FBI’s confidence. “Call it an assassination list, call it whatever,” he said. “The FBI’s trying to pooh-pooh that a little bit. We’ve reached out to the FBI and said the six people whose names were on his list, we want a briefing of what (the FBI) knows. How did you research us? Why were our names on the list?”
Social media accounts connected to Hodgkinson leave no doubt of his political positions and dislike of Republicans, but no posts ever suggest violence or threats. Investigators have not said if he had any sort of mental illness.