James Hodgkinson had a previous history of arrests.
PEORIA, Ill (HOI) -- -
James Hodgkinson of Belleville went to Alexandria with one goal in mind: gun down members of the Republican Party. While investigation is still ongoing, one Central Illinois Counselor speculates that the reason behind the shooting may be that Hodgkinson felt threatened.
"Being threatened by these changes that the Republicans are trying to offer and legislate, probably he feels threatened by it in some way," explained Marty Hanson, a Licensed Professional Counselor.
News of Wednesday's shooting brought with it a barrage of evidence from Hodgkinson's own Facebook page, where he was often outspoken and vulgar about Republican policies. That anger reportedly carried through even to his day-to-day actions.
"He didn't seem like he wanted to talk to anybody or me or anybody around him," claimed Kristina Scrimshaw, owner of a restaurant in Alexandria near where the shooting happened.
Marty Hanson agrees with experts and believes that Hodgkinson's social media posts acted as a sounding board, repeating back to him what he was already angry about and making him boil over.
He equates this echo chamber of anger to bullying, and offered advice on how best you can help people affected.
"For us," explained Hanson, "we should not to contribute to it in any way. Confront it when we can, and support the people that are being addressed."