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Suspect was often in YMCA near ballfield in recent weeks, witness says

Stephen Brennwald, an Alexandria resident and attorney, said he realized after seeing James T. Hodgkinson’s photo on the news that Hodgkinson was the same man who had been hanging out for at least the past several weeks in the lobby of the YMCA adjacent to Simpson Field.

Brennwald said Hodgkinson would regularly show up first thing in the morning — at about the same time the shooting took place Tuesday — and look at his laptop or stare out the window. He said he never seemed to work out or talk to anyone, and wore long pants that were obviously not exercise gear.

“He never worked out. He never talked to anybody. He never did anything,” Brennwald said. “He’d just sit there and stare at his laptop.”

Brennwald added, “It didn’t seem right, but I figured maybe he’s a law enforcement guy monitoring something.”

Just last week, Brennwald said, he thought to himself: “I need to talk to someone and say, ‘Who is this guy? Why is he here?’ He’s never working out.”

Brennwald said that when Hodgkinson was not scanning his laptop he would look out the window toward the park. “He had this kind of faraway stare,” Brennwald said.

Shooting at GOP congressional baseball practice in Virginia: The latest
(Peter Jamsion/The Washington Post)
(Peter Jamsion/The Washington Post)

Shots were fired in Alexandria, Va., this morning at a Republican congressional baseball practice. The latest as we learn it.