A Democratic state senator from Illinois came under fire over the weekend after pictures were posted online showing his supporters at a fundraising event performing a mock assassination of a faux President Trump.
“The tolerant left,” wrote a Facebook user in response to the incident.
Photos posted by a woman who witnessed the mock assassination on Friday night show supporters of Sen. Martin Sandoval, who represents Illinois’ 11th District — which includes parts of Chicago — acting out in front of guests, according to WCIA.
One of them can be seen pointing a fake machine gun at a man wearing a Trump mask and Mexican costume. The individual appears to simulate being shot — grabbing his chest and leaning back.
In another photo, Sandoval can be seen standing next to the person holding the gun.
“Why is this ok?” a FB user asked. “I am sickened.”
The pictures have sparked outrage on both sides of the aisle, with Democratic Gov. J.B. Pritzker blasting them in a statement Saturday night.
“As our nation grapples with the epidemic of gun violence, purposely pointing a fake gun at anyone is insensitive and wrong,” Pritzker said. “I condemn actions like the ones displayed in the pictures because they lack the civility our politics demands.”
Sandoval released a statement Sunday apologizing for the incident — which he called “unacceptable.”
“I don’t condone violence toward the President or anyone else,” the lawmaker said, according to WCIA. “I apologize that something like this happened at my event.”
GOP members were calling on Sandoval to punish the people involved in the mock assassination, saying his words weren’t enough.
“The apology from Sen. Sandoval for the detestable pictures from his event depicting an assassination of President Trump is too little, too late,” said Illinois Republican Party chairman Tim Schneider.
“Dangerous imagery like this will be condemned and seen as inappropriate by people of sound mind; however, a mentally unstable individual who wants to harm President Trump might find them as an inspiration,” Schneider added. “It’s inexcusable for an elected official to allow the promotion of violence in any way. If the individual pictured is a staffer or volunteer, they should be terminated immediately.”
Kellyanne Conway, one of Trump’s top aides, brought up the pictures on Twitter Sunday night.
“Every Democrat should be asked if they support or disavow this,” she tweeted.