Virginia shooter campaigned for Sanders: Ex-candidate condemns ‘despicable’ attack

Virginia shooter campaigned for Sanders: Ex-candidate condemns ‘despicable’ attack
Senator Bernie Sanders (I-Vermont) condemned the shooting of a Republican representative and several others by a man who volunteered for his presidential campaign. The gunfire occurred at a GOP practice for the annual charity congressional baseball game.

Five people were shot and injured on Wednesday morning, including House Majority Whip Steve Scalise (R-Louisiana), during the final practice for the charity baseball game. The gunman, identified as James T. Hodgkinson, campaigned for Sanders in Iowa, ahead of the first-in-the-nation caucuses in February 2016.

Sanders took to the Senate floor to denounce the shooting by one of his campaign volunteers.

“I am sickened by this despicable act,” he said. “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 previously expressed his hope that all who were injured would make full recoveries.

"Our prayers go out for a full recovery of Rep. Scalise, the congressional aides and police officers who were injured. We’ve got to stop the violence," he said.

Sanders praised the Capitol Police officers who were on the scene, saying he wanted “to thank the Capitol Police for their heroic actions to prevent further harm.”

Robert Becker, who was the Iowa director for Sanders’ campaign, told the Washington Post that neither he nor anyone else remembered Hodgkinson.

“We had approximately 100 paid organizers on staff,” Becker said. “He was not one of them.”

About 10,000 people volunteered for Sanders in Iowa, he said.