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Bernie Sanders says gunman was a campaign volunteer

WASHINGTON -- Democratic Sen. Bernie Sanders says the man authorities identified as opening fire on the Republican congressional baseball practice had apparently volunteered on his presidential campaign. The assailant has been identified as James T. Hodgkinson from Illinois.

Sanders, of Vermont, says in a statement: "I am sickened by this despicable act."

He says that "violence of any kind is unacceptable in our society and I condemn this action in the strongest possible terms."

Sanders paid tribute to Capitol Police for their response to the shooting and said his "hopes and prayers" are with House GOP Whip Steve Scalise and others who were wounded.

Sanders challenged Hillary Clinton for the Democratic nomination in the 2016 presidential election.

He adds in his statement that "real change" can only come through nonviolent action.

The shooter

James T. Hodgkinson of Belleville, IL

The Illinois man who shot a Republican congressman and several other people while they practiced baseball outside the nation's capital had a number of run-ins with police in recent years, including arrests for battery, resisting arrest, and drunken driving.

James T. Hodgkinson, who was 66, was fatally shot by police. Court records show that his legal trouble started in the 1990s. His most serious problems apparently came in 2006, when he was arrested on the battery charge. Records indicate he has not been involved in any legal cases since 2011.

Hodgkinson's Facebook page indicates that, 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.