Wounded congressman sends Father's Day message via Twitter

Scalise, 51, had another surgery on Saturday and "he is more responsive and is speaking with his loved ones", a statement posted to his Twitter account said. "The Scalise family greatly appreciates the outpouring of thoughts and prayers", the hospital announced, "on behalf of the Scalise family". Three other people were wounded - a police officer, congressional aide and lobbyist.

The surgeon said there were hundreds of bullet fragments in Mr Scalise's body, but "we have no intention to try and remove all the bullet fragments at this point".

The president said that because of the "tremendous pain and suffering he's now enduring. our country will perhaps become closer, more unified".

The hospital added the Louisiana Republican's condition had improved over the 24 hours following Wednesday morning's shooting in Alexandria, Va.

The vice president made the visit before flying to Miami for a summit meeting with Central American leaders.

He has had several operations since the shooting. He had his third surgery Saturday.

Hodgkinson, shot and killed by a capitol cop returning fire, was armed with a 9 mm handgun and a 7.62 caliber rifle, weapons that were traced and found to be purchased legally through federally licensed firearm dealers, investigators said. Capitol Police said they had "no evidence to suggest that the purchases were not lawful".

His social media profile indicated Hodgkinson was a dedicated Bernie Sanders supporter who despised the Republican party and former Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton.

Hodgkinson 66, who was from the St. Louis suburb of Belleville, Illinois, died after being shot by police. Sanders wished Congressman Scalise a "very, very quick recovery".

"I understand he was awake on scene but by the time he was transported by helicopter to the MedStar trauma center, he was in shock", Sava said.

  • Larry Hoffman