Congressional Shooter A Trump Critic And Sanders Fan

The suspect in the shooting of a congressman and several others at a Virginia ballpark has been identified as a vocal critic of President Donald Trump. The gunman was also an avid supporter of independent Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont and volunteered for his presidential campaign. Sanders has condemned the attack.

On June 14, 66-year-old James Hodgkinson of Illinois opened fire during a congressional baseball practice in Alexandria, Virginia.

Hodgkinson reportedly attacked with a rifle, injuring five people. Among those shot was the House Majority Whip, Republican Rep. Steve Scalise of Louisiana, who subsequently underwent surgery for his wound, ABC News reports.

Trump confirmed during a White House address that Hodgkinson died following injuries he sustained during a shootout with Capitol Police on the scene.

In 2006, Hodgkinson was arrested for domestic battery after assaulting a woman and subsequently aiming a shotgun at her boyfriend. The charges were later dismissed. That same year, he was also accused of beating a dog, The Daily Beast reports.

On March 24, Hodgkinson's neighbor called police to report that Hodgkinson had fired 50 rounds from a firearm.

Hodgkinson's alleged social media profile indicated that he was an avid proponent in liberal politics and a critic of both Trump and the GOP. His online comments and letters to local newspapers were primarily focused on "tax breaks to the rich."

Michael Hodgkinson, the suspect's estranged brother, said that Trump's election had upset him.

"I know he wasn't happy with the way things were going, the election results and stuff," Michael told The New York Times.

Neighbor Aaron Meurer confirmed that account, agreeing that "[Hodgkinson] wasn't very happy when Trump got elected."

Hodgkinson was a vocal Sanders supporter and worked on the Vermont senator's presidential campaign during the Iowa Democratic primary.

Charles Orear, a fellow Sanders campaign volunteer, expressed shock when told of the Alexandria shooting.

"You've got to be kidding me," Orear told The Washington Post. "I met him on the Bernie trail in Iowa… He was this union tradesman, pretty stocky, and we stayed up talking politics. He was more on the really progressive side of things."

Sanders condemned Hodgkinson's actions in an address from the Senate floor, The Hill reports.

"I have just been informed that the alleged shooter at the Republican baseball practice is someone who apparently volunteered on my presidential campaign," Sanders declared. "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 the strongest possible terms."

Sources: ABC News, The Daily BeastThe Hill, The New York Times, The Washington Post / Photo Credit: AFGE/Flickr

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