Sen. Bernie Sanders spoke briefly about the shooting Wednesday, amid reports that the suspect, James T. Hodgkinson III, volunteered on the Vermont senator’s 2016 presidential campaign and featured the senator’s image prominently on his Facebook page.
“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. I am sickened by this despicable act,” Sanders said on the Senate floor. “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 said he was praying for the recovery of those who were wounded, and he thanked the Capitol Police for their “heroic actions.”
Robert Becker, who served as the Iowa director of Bernie Sanders’s presidential campaign, said Hodgkinson had no formal role on the campaign and that he couldn’t find anyone who remembered him.
“We had approximately 100 paid organizers on staff,” Becker said. “He was not one of them.”
Becker said ahead of the caucuses, about 10,000 people volunteered for Sanders at varying points.