The Associated Press’s headline proclaimed, “Gunman who shot congressman had no target in mind.”
Adrift and nearly out of money after three months of living out of his van in the Washington area, the gunman who shot a top House Republican and four other people on a Virginia baseball field didn’t have any concrete plans to inflict violence on the Republicans he loathed, FBI officials said Wednesday.
James T. Hodgkinson, 66, was shot and killed by police after he opened fire on Congressional Republicans practicing for their annual charity baseball game against Democrats last week. Rep. Steve Scalise of Lousiana, the House majority whip, was struck in the hip and gravely wounded. Scalise remains hospitalized, and his condition was upgraded to fair on Wednesday. All five people who were shot, including two U.S. Capitol police officers, survived their injuries.
The AP does some linguistic gymnastics of what the FBI said in their press conference. The FBI made clear the shooter was having personal problems, had anger issues, and hated Republicans. They also made it clear they haven’t finished their investigation, and couldn’t officially determine motive.
The AP then attempts to paint the shooter as a guy who’s life wasn’t going well, and so he randomly snapped at a park and shot strangers.
The AP ignores the history of violent rhetoric from the shooter, his belonging to violent Facebook groups, his having a list of six members of Congress on him during the shooting, and two congressmen saying he inquired about the party affiliation of the players on the field before opening fire.
He may not have had a specific individual in mind, but he absolutely targeted Republicans. The FBI has to avoid conclusions before an investigation is concluded, but the Associated Press is just being silly.