Bernie Sanders Says GOP Baseball Practice Shooter Was Campaign Volunteer

Reuters/Kevin Lamarque

Chuck Ross Investigative Reporter
Font Size:

Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders responded to the news that the Illinois man who shot GOP lawmakers during baseball practice in Alexandria, Va. on Wednesday was one of his supporters and had volunteered for 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. 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,” Sanders said in a statement that he read on the floor of the U.S. Senate. (RELATED: James T. Hodgkinson Was Bernie Sanders Supporter, Called Trump A ‘Traitor’)

The shooter, James Hodgkinson of Belleville, Ill., opened fire on the group of Republican lawmakers as they were practicing for Thursday’s annual congressional baseball game. The 66-year-old Hodgkinson, a former home inspector, injured five, including Louisiana Rep. Steve Scalise.

Hodgkinson’s social media footprint shows that he was a strong supporter of Sanders. He was also highly critical of Republicans and President Trump, recently calling the latter an “asshole” and “traitor.”

Hodgkinson also volunteered for Sanders’ campaign in Iowa, an acquaintance told The Washington Post. The two volunteered in Quad City, the man told the newspaper.

Scalise underwent surgery and is in stable condition. Hodgkinson died from wounds sustained in a shootout with Capitol police.

“My hopes and prayers are that Representative 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,” Sanders said in his statement.

The officers were at the practice as part of the security detail provided to Scalise. Some Republican lawmakers said that if Scalise had not been at the practice, Hodgkinson could have potentially killed dozens.

Follow Chuck on Twitter