In a report released on Friday, the FBI changed the classification of the attack on Republican lawmakers in 2017 as "domestic terrorism" from "suicide by cop."
In a 40-page report entitled "Security Strategic Intelligence Assessment and Data on Domestic Terrorism," the FBI reclassified the attack on Republican congressmen playing baseball as domestic terrorism. Previously, the shooting of five people during the baseball practice was considered "suicide by cop." The shooter was later identified as James Hodgkinson, a known far-left political activist who worked on Bernie Sanders' campaign in 2016.
Hodgkinson was found with a list of Republican Congressmen in his pocket and only began shooting after asking then Rep. Ron DeSantis and Rep. Jeff Duncan if the people on the field were "Democrats or Republicans." Hodgkinson was a member of many extremist Facebook groups called "Terminate the Republican Party,” "The Road To Hell Is Paved With Republicans,” and "Donald Trump is not my President."
The shooting victims include Rep. Steve Scalise, U.S. Capitol Police officer Crystal Griner, congressional aide Zack Barth, and lobbyist Matt Mika. The politicians were attending a baseball practice for a charity Republican v. Democrats annual baseball game. The Republicans were known to practise at the same field each day at 6:30 am.
The initial shooting took place at 7:09 am, followed by a 10-minute shootout between Hodgkinson and Capitol Police. Hodgkinson was shot and later died that day in the hospital. All five people Hodgkinson shot survived.
Many were confused by the original designation of the shooting as "suicide by cop" and not terrorism. Hodgkinson's ties to left-wing extremism were established only days after the shooting. In the new report, the shooting is listed among other domestic terrorism events, but many are accusing the FBI of attempting to bury it.
The classification is listed on page 35 of 40; it describes the incident as follows, "An individual with a personalized violent ideology targeted and shot Republican members of Congress at a baseball field and wounded five people. The subject died as a result of engagement with law enforcement." The report classifies the attack as "Domestic Violent Extremism."