Details began to emerge of the individual identified as the assailant in Wednesday morning’s shooting in Virginia as law enforcement officials identified the gunman as 66-year-old James T. Hodgkinson of Belleville, Illinois.
“Violence of any kind is unacceptable in our society and I condemn this action in the strongest possible terms.” —Sen. Bernie SandersIn remarks at the White House delivered late Wednesday morning, President Donald Trump, though he did not mention Hodgkinson by name, said the gunman died following a shootout with Capitol Police.
As his Facebook page showed that Hodgkinson was a supporter of Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), and after the senator learned the alleged perpetrator had apparently volunteered for his campaign during last year’s election, Sanders took to the Senate floor just after noon on Wednesday to say he was “sickened” by the assault which he described as a “despicable act.”
“Let me be as clear as I can be,” Sanders stated. “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,” Sanders continued. “I also want to thank the Capitol Police for their heroic actions to prevent further harm.”
As it appeared inevitable the shooting would be politicized by some (and quickly was), numerous progressive organizations echoed Sanders in denouncing the use of political violence:
Rep. Steve Scalise (R-La.), the majority whip of the House of Representatives, is reportedly among several people who were shot in Alexandria, Virginia on Wednesday morning after a congressional softball team practice became the target of a still unidentified gunman.
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