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FBI Update: Virginia Shooter Purchased Rifle And Handgun From Federal Licensees

Yesterday’s Virginia shooting by the now deceased Illinois resident James Hodginkson rekindled the debate over, among other things, the proliferation of firearms, both legal and illegal, in the US. So to provide some additional detail about where Hodgkinson acquired his weapons – and what they were – moments ago the FBI issued a joint statement according to which the shooter’s weapons recovered at the scene include a 9 mm handgun and a 7.62 caliber rifle, and more importantly, the “ATF has conducted traces on these weapons and has determined that both were purchased by the shooter from federal firearms licensees.” It also adds that “we currently have no evidence to suggest that the purchases were not lawful.

Additionally, the FBI said it has processed the shooter’s vehicle, a white conversion van, which was parked in the parking lot of the YMCA directly adjacent to the park where the shooting took place. From that vehicle, the FBI has recovered and is processing a cell phone, a computer, and a camera.

In other words, not only was Hodgkinson a resident of Illinois, arguably the state with the most prohibitive gun laws, but his purchases were also legal. How the influences the ongoing debate over weapons in the US remains to be seen.

The full statement is below:

Joint Statement Update on Status of Shooting in Alexandria, Virginia

 

WASHINGTON, D.C. —The FBI and our federal, state and local law enforcement partner agencies in Alexandria, Virginia and Belleville, Illinois, continue to investigate yesterday’s shooting at the Eugene Simpson Stadium Park located at 400 East Monroe Avenue in Alexandria, Virginia. The FBI continues to investigate the single shooter, James Hodgkinson, as well as his activities and social media impressions in the months leading up to yesterday’s incident.

 

The shooter’s weapons recovered at the scene include a 9 mm handgun and a 7.62 caliber rifle. ATF has conducted traces on these weapons and has determined that both were purchased by the shooter from federal firearms licensees. We currently have no evidence to suggest that the purchases were not lawful. The FBI has processed the shooter’s vehicle, a white conversion van, which was parked in the parking lot of the YMCA directly adjacent to the park where the shooting took place. From that vehicle, the FBI has recovered and is processing a cell phone, a computer, and a camera.

 

While the FBI and our federal, state and local partners continue to investigate and process the scene and evidence, we also continue to encourage the public to come forward with any information on the shooter. The FBI thanks the public for having submitted tips on the shooter. We continue to seek information on any encounters the public may have had with him in his home state of Illinois or in Alexandria, Virginia, where law enforcement believe he has been staying since March 2017. The FBI’s Seeking Information poster on the shooter can be found at www.fbi.gov and the public can call 1-800-CALL-FBI to report tips, which can remain anonymous.

 

We ask for the community’s patience as the FBI continues to actively work the scene and complete the shooting trajectory. Local road closures around the scene will remain in place until law enforcement have completed processing the scene, which may continue into part of the weekend, or potentially early next week. The Alexandria Police Department will announce when those road closures are lifted.