Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) said he was “sickened” by the news of Wednesday’s shooting in Virginia that left several people injured, including Rep. Steve Scalise (R-La.), that was allegedly committed by a person who volunteered for his 2016 presidential campaign.
James Hodgkinson, of Illinois, was identified by authorities as the alleged gunman in Wednesday’s incident. President Donald Trump announced that he died as a result of his injuries.
Hodgkinson, whose Facebook page clearly showed his support for Sanders, allegedly canvassed for the senator during the campaign, according to the Washington Post.
“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 in a statement. “I am sickened by this despicable act.”
Sanders also condemned violence “of any kind” and said offered his “hopes and prayers” for the victims.
“Let me be as clear as I can be,” the senator wrote. “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.”
Following the shooting, there has been a raging debate online over the need for gun control measures and a cry from some corners of the Republican party that “liberal rhetoric” is to blame for Hodgkin’s actions.