Western Massachusetts residents react to Virginia shooting

None of the local leaders contacted wanted to comment

Emergency personnel respond after reports of shots fired Wednesday June 14, 2017 in Alexandria, Va. A top House Republican, Steve Scalise of Louisiana, was shot by a rifle-wielding gunman early Wednesday at a congressional baseball practice just outside of Washington. Several other people were also wounded, officials said. (Matt McClain/The Washington Post via AP)

NORTHAMPTON, Mass. (WWLP) – Hampshire County residents told 22News on Wednesday that they’re not surprised politicians have become the newest target of violence.

Residents said that they don’t believe this kind of violence will happen in western Massachusetts, but local politicians should be prioritizing their safety.

While the motive remains unclear, NBC News reported that the gunman walked over to the crowd watching the baseball game, asking if the politicians were Democrats or Republicans.

Congressman in critical condition after shooting; suspect dead

Residents told 22News that they speculate the gunman was taking out his political frustrations.

Tonya Gibbs of Northampton said, “I’m not really surprised that politicians are being targeted right now, because of the news as of late, since the election, everything has been pretty volatile.”

Northampton resident Alexander Galarza told 22News, “Not everyone is an enemy. Not everyone is to blame for everything. We just have to take some time to talk about the situation.”

22News contacted Northampton Mayor David Narkewicz, City Council President Bill Dwight, and Amherst Town Manager Paul Bockelman, to ask how they feel about their security following this attack. None of the local leaders wanted to comment.