US congressman Scalise still in critical condition: hospital

FILE - In this March 8, 2017 file photo, House Majority Whip Steve Scalise of La. speaks on Capitol Hill in Washington.

Meanwhile, investigators in Virginia are hunting for answers to why the 66-year-old IL man carrying grievances against the president and the GOP would let loose a hail of gunfire at a baseball diamond full of Republicans practicing for last night's charity ballgame.

Scalise, 51, is among four people shot by a gunman at a House Republican baseball practice Wednesday in the Washington suburbs.

Capitol Police Officer Crystal Griner also remains at the MedStar Washington hospital after sustaining a gunshot wound to her ankle, but is in "good condition and good spirits" the hospital said.

Sava noted Scalise was awake in the immediate aftermath of the shooting, but was in shock by the time he was transported to the hospital.

Scalise, who remains in critical condition but has improved, was shot in the left hip and suffered damage to internal organs.

Scalise underwent a third surgery Thursday and was still in critical condition in the morning at a local Washington, D.C., hospital.

Since then, the lawmaker has undergone multiple surgeries and procedures to stop the bleeding and fix bone.

As they prepared for a bipartisan baseball game Thursday night that promised at least a brief lull in the political mud fight, some said they hoped the good feeling would last past the final inning. The congressman has received "many units" of blood and surgeries from multiple specialized units. Infection also is a risk, especially if the intestines were perforated.

Sava said Friday that there are hundreds of bullet fragments in Scalise's body.

Sava said that after being released from the hospital, Scalise "will require a period of healing and rehabilitation".

"As far as winning and losing, I think that's far from anybody's mind right now", he said. The congressman's risk of death was now substantially lower because doctors have controlled the bleeding and his vital signs have stabilized.

Scalise will need more operations for his injuries, but doctors can't yet predict how many are necessary.

Before the game got started, members of Congress held a non-partisan prayer to honor Scalise and the Capitol Police in the middle of the field.

Scalise's security detail and other police officers shot and killed the assailant, James Hodgkinson of IL, who had lashed out against President Donald Trump and other Republicans over social media.

After hearing the news, Democrats gathered together in the baseball field where they had been practicing and closed their eyes, praying for colleagues, staff and friends who had been injured, said Time magazine. Democrats sent the trophy they earned to Scalise's office after the game.

"By playing tonight we are showing the world that we will not be intimidated by threats, acts of violence or assaults on our democracy", said US President Donald Trump, appearing on the park's giant screen but not attending.

House Speaker Paul Ryan spoke in the House chamber following the shooting. They did a great job. He declined to describe specific internal injuries.

The 66-year-old suspect from Belleville, Illinois, was a volunteer for Senator Bernie Sanders' presidential campaign but whether he was politically motivated is still unclear, investigators said.

  • Larry Hoffman