Donald Trump said Thursday that House Majority Whip Rep. Steve Scalise‘s condition is worse than was initially expected after the Congressman was shot in the hip as he and a group of politicians practiced for a charity baseball game in Virginia on Wednesday.
“It’s been much more difficult than people even thought at the time,” President Trump, 71, said on Thursday. “It’s been, uh — he’s in some trouble. He’s a great fighter and he’s going to be okay, we hope.”
James T. Hodgkinson, of Belleville, Illinois, took to the Eugene Simpson Stadium Park in Alexandria at around 7 a.m. with a rifle, opening fire on dozens of GOP members as they practiced for Thursday’s game, several Congress members have said. He was shot by police officials and died later at a hospital.
Three other victims were wounded as well, including two Capitol Police agents and one congressional staffer, a federal law enforcement official told PEOPLE. The official added that another staffer may have been injured, but it is unclear how the injury occurred.
Scalise was shot in the hip and hospitalized in critical condition, MedStar Washington Hospital Center tweeted Wednesday afternoon.
“The bullet traveled across his pelvis, fracturing bones, injuring internal organs, and causing severe bleeding,” hospital officials said in a statement.
Trump and his wife, Melania, visited Scalise in the hospital in the wake of the shooting, writing on Twitter, “Just left hospital. Rep. Steve Scalise, one of the truly great people, is in very tough shape – but he is a real fighter. Pray for Steve!”
“America’s hearts — and we mean this in the truest sense — sends its love,” Trump continued on Thursday. “We got a lot of hearts in the country — great hearts — and they’re all sending their love and support to the Scalise family.”
Trump who initially spoke out against the shooting from the Diplomatic Room in the White House added on Thursday that Scalise “may have brought some unity to our long-divided country.”
“We’ve had a very, very divided country or many years,” he said. “I have a feeling that Steve has made a great sacrifice, but there could be some unity being brought to our country.”