Suspected gunman in shooting of U.S. Congressman, shocks those who knew him

ST. CLAIR COUNTY, IL – People in the Belleville area who know James Hodgkinson know him as Tommy.

A Belleville native Hodgkinson worked as a builder, then as a home inspector.

Though out Wednesday, police, sheriff’s deputies, the FBI and ATF agents searched his home.

Neighbors said they are shocked that Hodgkinson was the man responsible for the shooting in Virginia.

They said he pretty much kept to himself but was nice, he would wave when people passed by and invite everyone to his Halloween party.

Hodgkinson graduated from Belleville West, class of 1968.

Former classmate Tom Calhoun said Hodgkinson liked sports and was on the wrestling team but other than that he can’t really pinpoint anything he was passionate about.

“I think most of us who were classmates of his would say he was just another guy in school, and that’s not to demean him in anyway, it’s just that nothing particularly stood out that you would say oh this guy is a candidate for something like this,” said Calhoun.

Calhoun said he thinks he saw Hodgkinson at a Walgreens in Belleville about three months ago, but he looked a little different so he didn’t say anything.

“I didn’t say is that you Tommy and he didn’t say hey Calhoun how’s it going, so we didn’t really speak but I think it was him and now I wish I had said something because you never know what’s going on in someone else’s life unless you ask them how they are doing and now I wish I had.”

Hodgkinson’s neighbor said he had a Bernie Sanders sign in his yard during the election but never talked politics with him.