DAVENPORT | The man identified as the gunman who wounded several people, including a congressman, at a Republican baseball practice in the Washington, D.C., area on Wednesday campaigned in the Quad-Cities for Sen. Bernie Sanders before the 2016 Iowa caucuses, according to a Davenport man as well as The Washington Post.
Iowa lawmakers reacted with alarm and prayer Wednesday after a shooting at a congressional Republican baseball practice in Washington, D.C., r…
James T. Hodgkinson, 66, was killed in a shootout with police after firing on the practice, authorities said.
House Majority Whip Steve Scalise, a Louisiana Republican, was wounded.
Several Sanders supporters in the Quad-Cities said Wednesday that they did not recall ever seeing Hodgkinson.
However, Wayne Hean, a former Davenport alderman, said on Wednesday that he remembers him. Hean and his wife hosted several volunteers for the Vermont senator's campaign, but he said Hodgkinson never stayed with them.
Hean said Wednesday that he was shaken by the news of the shooting.
"This is horrible," he said.
Hean said he recalled being put off by Hodgkinson's views, even though they had a connection to Belleville. Hean was stationed at Scott Air Force Base there while he was in the military.
Hean said Hodgkinson came off as extreme.
"You know when someone gives you that feeling that you don’t want to be around him. That’s the way I got," he said.
It is not unusual for volunteers from around the country to flood the state before the caucuses — and for many of them to stay with fellow supporters who live in the state.
Hean said he and his wife probably hosted about 70 Sanders supporters.
"We met a ton of volunteers that came through, very good people that believe in Bernie Sanders and what he stood for," Hean said. "And this shouldn’t hurt the work they did. But what this guy has done is horrendous."
The Washington Post also quoted an acquaintance of Hodgkinson's from St. Louis, Charles Orear, as saying that he and Hodgkinson had stayed overnight in Rock Island at the home of a Sanders supporter.
Orear expressed shock at what had happened. The Post reported him as saying Hodgkinson was "on the really progressive side of things," but he described him as "very mellow, very reserved" when they stayed at a home in Rock Island.
On the Senate floor, Sanders said he had been told the gunman was a volunteer for his campaign.
"I am sickened by this despicable act and 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,” he said.