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U.S. lawmaker Scalise improving after baseball field shooting

18 June 2017

The bullet struck Scalise in the hip, and traveled across his body, shattering bones and passing through internal organs, causing major internal bleeding.

"He will certainly be in the hospital for a considerable period of time, presumably weeks", Dr. Jack Sava, the director of trauma at MedStar Washington Hospital Center, told reporters.

Vice President Mike Pence earlier on Thursday said he visited the hospital where Scalise was being treated.

Scalise, who serves as U.S. House Majority Whip, suffered a single gunshot wound when alleged gunman James T. Hodgkinson opened fire on lawmakers and their staff during a practice session at Eugene Simpson Stadium Park Wednesday morning.

As congressional Republicans and Democrats joined Thursday night in their annual baseball game, played this year in Scalise's honor, word came from the hospital that he remained in critical condition, but had "improved in the last 24 hours". Scalise was shot Wednesday, June 14, 2017, at a congressional baseball practice in Alexandria, . He's been sedated since then, Sava said, "but we've been able to turn that sedation down enough for him to respond to his family members, and he clearly knows that they're there and appreciates their presence".

Scalise, the third most powerful Republican in the House, was shot through the hip.

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The game, a charity match between teams of Democrats and Republicans played almost every year since 1909, usually draws about 10,000.

While this was a time to put political divisions aside, Pelosi said, she forcefully condemned Republicans who sought to blame the attack on liberals and the rise of an activist left.

But Scalise still faces multiple surgeries, a prolonged hospital stay and a lengthy recovery, Sava stressed. Scalise was reported to have been tended to by Rep. Brad Wenstrup of OH, a US Army Reserve doctor who served in Iraq, before his treatment at the hospital.

On Wednesday morning a lone gunman with a rifle fired at Republican lawmakers, turning baseball practice at a field in Alexandria, Virginia into "bedlam".

Scalise was in critical condition Wednesday afternoon after undergoing surgery.

"This is always a fun event to come to and see the members of congress show their talent on the field, but I really think this year is going to be special (.) to show members of congress can come together".

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House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi is lashing out at "sanctimonious" Republicans - including some in Congress - who are suggesting vitriolic political rhetoric from the left may be partially to blame for the shooting that wounded GOP Congressman Steve Scalise. The 66-year-old posted several angry messages about President Donald Trump and the Republican party on social media before the incident.

Authorities also confirm Hodgkinson legally purchased a 9 mm handgun and an assault-style rifle from licensed firearms sellers.

So far, investigators have not linked Hodgkinson to any radical groups, said a law enforcement official who spoke on condition of anonymity.

The Illinois congressman grew emotional as he described seeing his colleague, Rep. Steve Scalise, lying motionless on the ground.

"I think anybody that ever played baseball, the dream was to play in a major league stadium", Richmond said previous year.

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