Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) on Wednesday took to the Senate floor to condemn the shooting at a Republican baseball outside Washington, D.C., after early reports indicated that the suspect in the shooting was a volunteer for his presidential campaign.
Police said that James T. Hodgkinson, 66, of Belleville, Illinois, opened fire at the baseball practice in Alexandria, Virginia, Wednesday morning, shooting five, including House Majority Whip Steve Scalise (R-La.) and two Capitol Police officers. President Donald Trump said that Hodgkinson is now dead. Spokespersons for Scalise said the congressman is in stable condition.
Early reports indicate that the shooter was a left-wing political activist.
Sanders, who sought the Democratic nomination for president last year, said on the Senate floor that he was informed that Hodgkinson was a volunteer for his campaign and condemned his actions.
“I have just been informed that the alleged shooter at the Republican baseball practice this morning is someone who apparently volunteered on my presidential campaign,” Sanders said. “I am sickened by this despicable act, and 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.
“Real change can only come about through nonviolent action, and anything else runs counter to our most deeply held American values,” he continued. “I know I speak for the entire country in saying that my hopes and prayers are that Rep. Scalise, congressional staff and the Capitol Police officers who were wounded make a quick and full recovery. I also want to thank the Capitol Police for their heroic actions to prevent further harm.”
Bernie Sanders condemns congressional baseball shooting after learning that the suspect was a volunteer for his campaign pic.twitter.com/8JEXfrEfg8
— BuzzFeed News (@BuzzFeedNews) June 14, 2017
Michael Briggs, former communications director for the Sanders campaign, told KCCI-TV that “our computer records show that he volunteers for one debate watch party in Iowa. He was not on the payroll. We never interacted with him. I talked to people on the Iowa campaign this morning who have never heard of him.”
The annual congressional baseball game will reportedly take place Thursday evening as scheduled.