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Sen. Bernie Sanders condemned a former campaign volunteer who allegedly shot five people Wednesday, including House Majority Whip Steve Scalise.
In a statement delivered on Capitol Hill, the Vermont senator said that he was “sickened” by the shooting in Alexandria, Virginia, which occurred while Republicans were practicing for the annual congressional baseball game.
“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. “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. Real change can only come about through nonviolent action, and anything else runs against our most deeply held American values.”
“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.”
The alleged shooter, 66-year-old James T. Hodgkinson of Belleville, Illinois, volunteered for Sanders’ campaign in Illinois. He also shared a number of pro-Sanders and content on social media, and was a member of Facebook groups including “The Road to Hell is Paved with Republicans,” and “Illinois Berners United to Resist Trump.”