He has been campaigning for months, but Republican presidential frontrunner Donald Trump seems not to be running out of ways to attract controversy.
Boasting about his alleged solid support base, Trump said during a recent campaign rally in Sioux Centre in Iowa that his supporters would still vote for him even if he shot a stranger in the middle of a crowded street.
"I could stand in the middle of 5th Avenue and shoot somebody and I wouldn't lose voters," Trump said, as quoted by CNN.
The business tycoon, who has been dominating pre-election popularity polls, was asked to explain his statements after the event, but he declined to do so.
This was not the first time that Trump joked about the possibility of using violence in case he wins the race to the White House.
Last month, the Republican presidential aspirant appeared to have indicated willingness to consider killing journalists, as Russian President Vladimir Putin has been accused of doing.
"I would never do that," Trump said before a crowd in Grand Rapids, Michigan, when asked about the possibility of targeting members of the media.
Moments later, however, Trump appeared to have reconsidered: "Uh, let's see, uh? No, I would never do that."
The controversial businessman made these remarks at the height of growing debate on gun violence and gun control in the United States.
The U.S. witnessed several public shootings during the past months, including the terror attack in San Bernardino, California, which killed 14 people.
The attackers were reportedly inspired by the Islamic State (ISIS), which recently claimed responsibility for the brazen public attacks.
Trump has consistently criticised U.S. President Barack Obama for his stance on gun control.
Obama recently issued executive orders for stricter guidelines on purchasing guns.
Trump, in contrast, has been pushing for fewer gun restrictions and a harder stance on terrorism, including the possibility of banning Muslim migrants in the U.S.