Bernie Sanders, who ran as a Democrat in the 2016 presidential election, revealed today that the GOP baseball shooter was an unpaid volunteer campaign worker. Sanders decried the shooting calling it a “despicable” act.
James T. Hodgkinson III, 66, from Bellevue, Illinois, was identified as the shooter by police agencies.
“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 b e as clear as I can bee. Violence of any kind is unacceptable in our society and I condemn this action in the strongest possible terms,” he added.
Real change can only come through non-violent action, he continued.
Hodgkinson was wounded by police officers and has since died from his wounds.
The shooter had a Facebook page that featured a large photo of Sanders and other memes critical of President Donald Trump.
“Trump is a Traitor. Trump Has Destroyed Our Democracy. It’s Time to Destroy Trump & Co.” Hodgkinson wrote in one posting.
The page has since been pulled down.
So far, police are not describing the shooting as politically motivated, but the investigation is continuing.
In all, five people were wounded during the shooting at an Alexandria, Va. park baseball field in suburban Washington, D.C.
Among them was House Majority Whip Steve Scalise (R-La), who was shot in the hip.
A Hodgkinson acquaintance told CNN the shooter was a “kind man” who appeared to have become fed up with the politics in Washington.
Sanders made a distraught statement on the Senate floor acknowledging that Hodgkinson was a volunteer campaign worker, one of tens of thousands who aided his run for president.
Sanders and key staffers said they did not know Hodgkinson and noted that he was unpaid.
How Hodgkinson knew about the assembly of Republican lawmakers is unknown. The are all members of the House Republican softball team. They were practicing ahead of a charity game against Democrats slated for Nationals Stadium in Washington.
The shooter showed up at the field shortly after 7 a.m. He began shooting a rifle at those on the field and was also reportedly carrying a handgun. Police said his car was found close by with ammunition and weapons.
Police officers and Scalise’s two-person security team returned fire and were able to wound Hodgkinson. He died later at the hospital.