On Wednesday, Independent Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders took the Senate floor to condemn the horrific shooting at the Republican baseball practice just outside the capital city. Sanders was quick to disassociate himself with the suspect involved in the shooting after it was discovered that he was a volunteer for the Senator’s presidential campaign.
According to police reports, James T. Hodgkinson, 66, from Belleville, Illinois, started shooting at the Republican baseball practice in Virginia, on Wednesday. Hodgkinson managed to shoot five people, including two officers from the Capitol Police, and House Majority Whip Scalise.
While a spokesperson for the congressman said that Scalise is in a stable condition, President Trump confirmed that Hodgkinson is dead.
Early investigation efforts have revealed that the shooter was a staunch left-wing supporter.
Bernie Sanders, who lost the Democratic nomination for president to Hillary Clinton last year, said on the Senate floor that he had just found out that the suspect had volunteered for his campaign. Sanders further condemned Hodgkinson’s 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.”
Sanders’ campaign’s former communications head, Michael Briggs, told a local news station 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 went ahead as scheduled, and took place on Thursday evening.