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Congressional shooter's wife tormented by husband's attack

BELLEVILLE, Ill. — The widow of a man who wounded a congressman and four others in a shooting at a Republican congressional baseball practice said she is tormented by thoughts that she could have done more to help her increasingly angry husband.

Suzanne Hodgkinson said her husband James was once a fun-loving man who changed after a long illness in the 1990s. He would throw dishes at his wife, yell at the television and went "bananas" after Donald Trump won the 2016 presidential election, she told the New York Times.

"I get up every morning feeling guilty because I didn't stop it," Hodgkinson said.

She spoke in an interview Wednesday at her home in Belleville, Illinois, about the June 14 attack in Alexandria, Virginia, that critically injured a Republican congressman and wounded four others. Law officers fatally shot her husband.

"I wake up with hot sweats, thinking: 'You should have known. You should have known,'" she said.

But Suzanne Hodgkinson, 65, said she also wants to quickly lay to rest her husband's remains and hopes the negative attention on her family will end soon.

On Tuesday, Hodgkinson was asked via email to formally identify her husband's body. She has asked a funeral home that a friend owns to cremate her husband's body. She will scatter the ashes at home or bury them in nearby St. Louis. No ceremony or public remembrance is planned.

"Coldhearted as it may be, I'm done," Hodgkinson said. "He was not a religious man, and I'm done with this. I want this to get over. I want my granddaughters to be able to go to school in September without this being dredged up."

Congressional shooter's wife tormented by husband's attack 07/01/17 [Last modified: Saturday, July 1, 2017 10:06pm]
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