Scalise's condition improves, but more operations and long hospital stay expected

Scalise's condition improves, but more operations and long hospital stay expected

Louisiana Congressman Steve Scalise condition has improved after being shot Wednesday in Alexandria, Virginia.

Dr. Jack Sava, director of trauma at MedStar Washington Hospital Center, said the team working with Scalise is "encouraged" by his progress. "The Scalise family greatly appreciates the outpouring of thoughts and prayers".

Speaking in Miami on Friday, Trump said Scalise "took a bullet for all of us". Although "infection is a significant risk", the physician said, "an excellent recovery is a good possibility". Congressional aide Zack Barth, Tysons Food lobbyist Matt Mika and Capitol Police Officer David Bailey were also shot in the attack, but have since been released from the hospital.

Scalise, 51, who represents a district in Louisiana and is the House majority whip, had previously been listed in critical condition. He will be in the hospital for some time.

Doctor Sava described Scalise's shot to his left hip as a devastating "trans-pelvic gunshot wound" from a high-velocity rifle.

The man who shot Scalise and others at the baseball practice had with him a piece of paper with doodles and the names of three lawmakers, according to a person familiar with the case.

Scalise has received multiple blood transfusions, which can affect clotting, something doctors will monitor closely. The hospital says Scalise "will require additional operations, and will be in the hospital for some time".

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The gunman in the early morning attack at the ballpark in Alexandria, Virginia, was identified as 66-year-old James T. Hodgkinson of Belleville, Illinois.

Although Scalise was able to talk on the ballfield, by the time he was transported by helicopter to the hospital, he was in shock. Hodgkinson had arrests in his background but showed required firearms licenses to an IL deputy who confronted him about shooting a cornfield last spring. He died after officers in Scalise's security detail and local police fired at him.

Ahead of the medical update, Scalise's chief of staff read a statement from the congressman's wife, Jennifer, who thanked people ― including President Donald Trump ― for their support.

"Both were purchased by the shooter from federal firearms licensees", the Capitol Police said in a statement.

She said Republican vitriol and caricatures of her have resulted in "calls to my home constantly, threats in front of my family, really predicated on their comments and their paid ads".

Authorities say they are examining a cell phone, a computer and a camera found inside a white van where the gunman who wounded a top Republican congressman and several others had been living.

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