James T. Hodgkinson, the man who shot House Majority Whip Steve Scalise (R., La.) and four others at a Republican congressional baseball practice on Wednesday, is shown in court reports to have been an abusive alcoholic.
Cathy Rainbolt became a foster child of Hodgkinson and his wife, Sue, in 2003, the Chicago Tribune reported Monday. Rainbolt died in 2015 from a drug overdose, but court reports show that before she left the Hodgkinson household she was a victim of physical and verbal abuse.
Rainbolt told a judge before she died that Hodgkinson would drink every day, hit her in the face, and drag her by the hair when she would try to get away.
Rainbolt found solace at a neighbor's house. She went to live with the neighbors, Nicki Stieren and her daughter Janae Rainbolt, and took the daughter's last name after she was released from the Hodgkinsons' care. According to court reports, Hodgkinson went into Stieren's house and chased Rainbolt before grabbing her by the hair, pulling her off the floor where she was hiding under the bed and throwing her back down to the ground.
Cathy and Janae Rainbolt fled the house to get in their friend Aimee Moreland's car. Court reports allege that Sue Hodgkinson got involved as well, the Chicago Tribune reports.
Sue Hodgkinson came to the car and began fighting with Cathy, hitting her and pulling her hair and trying to pull her out of Moreland's car. She finally gave up and said "I'll just call the police and put you back into foster care," the report stated. It was then that James Hodgkinson began grabbing Cathy again, choking her, tearing her Belleville West sweatshirt.
Hodgkinson was charged with battery after he pointed and fired a gun at one of Rainbolt's friends, according to the Tribune.
Joel Fernandez, Moreland's 19-year-old boyfriend, went to confront the Hodgkinsons and told police he was met by James Hodgkinson pointing a 12-gauge shotgun in his face. He told police a shot was fired as he ran away. Police investigating the case found a spent shotgun shell near Hodgkinson's front porch.
Hodgkinson was charged with battery, but the case was dropped when witnesses did not appear. That was the last day Cathy stayed with the Hodgkinsons.
Tensions remained after Rainbolt moved in with her neighbors, and one day Hodgkinson ran over Stieren’s dog who was sleeping in the driveway.
Sue Hodgkinson currently remains under police protection.
UPDATED 11:45 P.M.: This post was updated to say that the congressional shooting took place Wednesday, not Tuesday as the original story stated.