Published: Thu, June 15, 2017
Global News | By Stacy Ballard

Bernie Sanders says he is 'sickened by this despicable act'

Bernie Sanders says he is 'sickened by this despicable act'

They were in good spirits despite the heat and humidity as they prepared for the congressional baseball match that pits Republicans against Democrats.

Politicians are often able to move on from the rhetoric. In 1994, according to Pew, 21 percent of Republicans, and 17 percent of Democrats, held rated the other party as "very unfavorable".

Federal Bureau of Investigation agent Tim Slater told a news conference that investigators were still "exploring all angles" and that it was too early to tell if the Republican lawmakers were deliberately targeted. PHOTOS: Shooting at park in Alexandria, Virginia Capitol Police officers who were in Scalise's security detail wounded the shooter, who was taken into custody. Then officers gunned him down.

Getting the answer he wanted, he left - only to return with a semi-automatic rifle with "a lot of ammo" and to begin shooting.

"I am sickened by this despicable act", the Vermont senator said of the attack by a gunman identified by NBC sources as James T. Hodgkinson.

"Let me be as clear as I can be". Sanders said he denounced the violence "in the strongest possible terms".

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Until recently, he ran a home-inspection business out of his home in Belleville, in the southwestern corner of the state, across the Mississippi River from St. Louis, according to Hodgkinson's Facebook page. The man calmly asked which party's lawmakers were practicing and Duncan told him they were the Republicans.

In some of the posts, Hodgkinson was also critical of Hillary Clinton.

The Belleville News-Democrat, the paper in Hodgkinson's home town of Belleville, Ill., interviewed a few of Hodgkinson's neighbors today. Callers to 911 reported hearing 50 shots. He had a valid firearms owner identification card, and the deputies advised him to shoot his weapon safely. "He was very cordial, very nice, very understanding", St. Clair County Sheriff Richard Watson said Wednesday after speaking to one of the responding officers. "He had no reason to think he was doing anything illegal, immoral or anything".

Hodgkinson was charged in April 2006 with battery and aiding damage to a motor vehicle but the charges were later dismissed, records show.

"He wasn't unpleasant. But he wasn't particularly somebody you would want to hang out with. Although the Second Amendment people - maybe there is, I don't know".

"I'm shaken up", Duncan said. "I did my job a little too well". Officers shot Hodgkinson, who later died. "Every interaction I've had I've thought, 'that guy's insane'".

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Hodgkinson graduated from Belleville West, class of 1968.

He also wrote frequent letters to his hometown newspaper, the Belleville News-Democrat, which published almost two dozen letters between 2010 and 2012, many of which included complaints about the same theme: income inequality.

"Trump is a Traitor".

"I Hate Republicans & everything they stand for", he wrote in December 2015. The profile picture for one of the accounts depicts Sanders as Uncle Sam.

Other law enforcement officials with knowledge of the investigation told NBC News that at this point there's no indication that the shooter has ties to worldwide terrorism.

Authorities said five people were taken to hospitals, including Hodgkinson.

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"The only thing I was concerned about was that it was such a high-powered gun, and that somebody could possibly get hurt". We never interacted with him. He died from injuries sustained in a shoot-out with Capitol Hill police who were at the scene in Alexandria, Virginia.

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