Relative of Hodgkinson kept his distance because of difference o - KMOV.com

Relative of Hodgkinson kept his distance because of difference of opinion

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The father-in-law of the Congressional shooter's daughter spoke exclusively to News 4, as well as a neighbor who lived across the road from the family. (Credit: KMOV) The father-in-law of the Congressional shooter's daughter spoke exclusively to News 4, as well as a neighbor who lived across the road from the family. (Credit: KMOV)
BELLEVILLE, Ill. (KMOV.com) -

The father-in-law of the Congressional shooter's daughter spoke exclusively to News 4, as well as a neighbor who lived across the road from the family.

Doug Knepper, a family member of James Hodgkinson, visited him and his wife on occasion over the last three and a half years their children have been married.

“The one time I was over there, I did see political signs of Bernie Sanders in his yard,” said Knepper.

Knepper and Hodgkinson share a grandson together.

“Most of our interaction was just normal day-to-day conversations of a grandfather talking to another grandfather,” said Knepper.

Knepper’s relationship with Hodgkinson never got very deep because of a difference of opinions.

“I do know that on occasion he had said to my son that he didn't like the military, so that was another reason I wasn't a big, huge fan to want to be his friend because I am from a military background and I believe in the military,” said Knepper.

He described each interaction with Hodkinson as “unique.”

“He was a type of person who when he talked to you or dealt with you, he got in your personal space when talked to you, very close to you, and I wasn't real comfortable with that,” said Knepper.

Kenneth Woodrone lives across the road from the Hodgkinson’s family home. Although homes on the outskirts of Belleville are separated by big farms, the neighborhood stayed close together.

“Every year he had a BBQ and my neighbor was invited and my son was invited to his annual BBQ,” said Woodrone.  

He said often Hodgkinson would help neighbors fix things with their homes.

“He was very happy with his work. Just a very kind, giving guy,” said Woodrone.

Both Knepper and Woodrone say they don’t understand how Hodgkinson is the one behind the shooting.

“I think something snapped and he just started shooting. I don't think it was aimed at anyone in particular, maybe a political party, but not anyone in particular,” said Knepper.

“I’m still a little bit shocked. How this could happen? I don't know... In Belleville... Sleepy little town, you know?” said Woodrone. 

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