President Donald Trump said Friday that wounded GOP Congressman Steve Scalise “took a bullet for all of us” when he was shot Wednesday morning at a congressional Republican baseball practice.
Four men, including Scalise, a police officer, a congressional aide and a lobbyist, were shot and wounded when a man identified as James Hodgkinson, opened fire on the lawmakers as they practiced for an annual charity baseball game between Republicans and Democrats.
“The [bullet] fragmented and did substantial damage to bones, internal organs, and blood vessels”.
MedStar Washington Hospital Center Director of Trauma Dr. Jack Sava leaves a news conference in Washington, Friday, June 16, 2017, about the condition of House Majority Whip Steve Scalise of La. who was shot in Alexandria, .
“When he arrived he was in critical condition with an imminent risk of death”, Sava said, adding that the Louisiana lawmaker is expected to be in the hospital for weeks.
“My dear friend Steve Scalise took a bullet for all of us”, Trump said.
The surgeon on Friday said he was “a lot more confident and optimistic” about Scalise’s recovery than he was two days ago.
Scalise has remained under sedation, although doctors have lightened the medication at times so that the congressman can communicate with relatives. Hodgkinson, 66, of Belleville, was fatally shot in a firefight with police.
He also said that Officer Crystal Griner, who was shot in the ankle, is in “good condition”.
Scalise is said to be somewhat responding to medical staff and family, according to the doctors.
Investigators said Hodgkinson had obtained his rifle and handgun from licensed firearms dealers, and Capitol Police said they had “no evidence to suggest that the purchases were not lawful”. Scalise was on the second base when he was injured by a crazed gunman who was trying to kill Republicans Wednesday.
/The #democrats emerged victorious, 11-2, but handed the Congressional baseball trophy to the Republicans, for it to be displayed in Scalise’s office until he recovers from bullet wounds he sustained one day before. But he will remain in the hospital for “a considerable period of time” and faces additional operations.
The president said that because of the “tremendous pain and suffering he’s now enduring. our country will perhaps become closer, more unified”.
Sava said he told Scalise’s family that “I am not declaring victory until he’s playing ball in his back yard with his family”.
“On behalf of Steve and our children, I want to thank everyone from the bottom of our hearts for the incredible amount of prayers and warm wishes we have received since Wednesday’s events”, Scalise’s wife, Jennifer, said in a statement Friday.