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Crime

Donald Trump Visits Steve Scalise in Hospital as Congressman Remains in Critical Condition

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House Majority Whip Rep. Steve Scalise remains in critical condition following a shooting Wednesday morning at a baseball field in Alexandria, Virginia.

“Congressman Steve Scalise sustained a single rifle shot to the left hip. The bullet traveled across his pelvis, fracturing bones, injuring internal organs, and causing severe bleeding,” the MedStar Washington Hospital Center said in a statement on Wednesday evening.

“He underwent immediate surgery, and an additional procedure to stop bleeding. He has received multiple units of blood transfusion. His condition is critical, and he will require additional operations,” the statement concluded.

AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais
AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais

Five people were hospitalized, including the suspect and Scalise, when a shooter opened fire on the field where about 25 GOP members of Congress were practicing for a game against their Democratic colleagues scheduled for Thursday. Scalise was playing second base, his normal position on the congressional baseball team.

“Prior to entering surgery, the Whip was in good spirits and spoke to his wife by phone. He is grateful for the brave actions of U.S. Capitol Police, first responders, and colleagues,” his office said in a previous statement at 2:30 p.m. EST.

President Donald Trump visited Scalise in the hospital, 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!”

Press Secretary Sean Spicer told pool reporters that Trump and First Lady Melania Trump spoke with Scalise’s doctors and the congressman’s wife, Jennifer. Melania also offered the family a bouquet of flowers.

“He entered the room, spoke with Scalise’s family, and sat by his bedside with Mrs. Trump,” Spicer said.

Trump also visited wounded Capitol Police Officer Crystal Griner and her wife, with Melania also bringing her flowers. Spicer said the couple also spoke to other members of the Capitol Police at the hospital.

Spicer noted that Trump would not be attending the congressional baseball game on Thursday out of security concerns.

“While the president would like to attend the game and show his support for all of these brave public servants, he has been advised that there is not enough time to follow Secret Service protocols,” the press secretary said.

The deceased gunman has been identified as 66-year-old James T. Hodgkinson of Belleville, Illinois.