Scalise shooter identified, was Sanders volunteer


A 66-year-old Illinois man has been identified as the gunman who allegedly shot Rep. Steve Scalise (R-La.) and several others on Wednesday morning as they were practicing for the congressional baseball game.

Multiple media outlets citing law enforcement officials have reported that the gunman, who died after being shot by police, is James T. Hodgkinson of Belleville, Ill.

Hodgkinson reportedly volunteered in Iowa for Sen. Bernie Sanders’s presidential campaign, something that will add to the discussion over whether the nation’s fierce, polarized political climate was an undercurrent to the shootings.

Sanders in a statement said he was sickened by the act.

“I have just been informed that the alleged shooter at the Republican baseball practice is someone who apparently volunteered on my presidential campaign,” he 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,” Sanders said.

Hodgkinson was previously charged with battery and aiding damage to a motor vehicle in April 2006, though the charges were dismissed, the Post reports, citing online records in St. Clair County, Ill.

The suspect owns a home inspection business, but his inspection license expired in the fall of last year, The Washington Post reported Wednesday. 



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