Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) said he was “sickened” by the shooting on Republican lawmakers taking part in baseball practice on Wednesday, calling it a “despicable act.”
The assailant, identified as James Thomas Hodgkinson, 66, of Belleville, Ill., is believed to have been especially upset over President Trump, according to social media postings, and Sanders said that he apparently volunteered in his presidential campaign.
“I have just been informed that the alleged shooter at the Republican baseball practice is someone who apparently volunteered on my presidential campaign,” Sanders said from the floor of the Senate. “I am sickened by this despicable act. Let me be as clear as I can be. Violence of any kind is unacceptable in our society and I condemn this action in the strongest possible terms.”
Hodgkinson died in the shootout with authorities after he opened fire on the Republican lawmakers as they were practicing at an Alexandria, Va., field. Rep. Steve Scalise (R-La.) was struck in the hip, and his condition is stable. A total of five people were wounded.
Michael Biggs, spokesman for Sanders’ presidential campaign, told Des Moines TV station KCCI that computer records showed that Hodgkinson volunteered for one debate watch party in Iowa, but was not on the payroll. “I talked to people on the Iowa campaign this morning who have never heard of him,” Briggs said.