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Critically wounded GOP Rep. Steve Scalise undergoes more surgery

Key Points
  • Rep. Steve Scalise undergoes more surgery after being shot in the hip at a congressional baseball practice.
  • Scalise is in critical condition.
  • Two Capitol Police officers, a congressional staffer and a lobbyist were also wounded.
  • Gunman James Hodgkinson of Illinois was shot to death.
Trump: Assailant who shot GOP Rep. Steve Scalise, others has died

Critically wounded GOP Rep. Steve Scalise underwent more surgery Thursday, a day after being shot in the hip at a congressional baseball practice, officials said.

The 51-year-old House majority whip was among five people wounded after a gunman opened fire on the baseball diamond in Alexandria, Virginia, on Wednesday morning. The gunman was shot to death.

Scalise, the number three Republican in the House, underwent surgeries at Medstar Washington Hospital Center and was listed in critical condition.

Two U.S. Capitol Police officers — who House Speaker Paul Ryan identified as Crystal Griner and David Bailey — were wounded. Capitol Police Chief Matthew Verderosa said in a statement that Griner was in good condition in the hospital after getting shot in the ankle and that Bailey was treated and released following a minor injury. 

"Had they not been there, it would have been a massacre," Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., who took cover behind a tree, said of the Capitol Police. The Capitol Police — including a third officer, Henry Cabrera, who was not injured — were present because Scalise is a member of the congressional leadership. 

U.S. Rep. Steve Scalise, Majority Whip and (R-La. 1st District),, speaks at President Trump's press conference with members of the GOP, on the passage of legislation to roll back the Affordable Care Act, in the Rose Garden of the White House, On Thursday, May 4, 2017.
Cheriss May | NurPhoto | Getty Images

Ryan identified the others shot as Tyson Foods lobbyist Matt Mika and Zack Barth, a staffer for Rep. Roger Williams, R-Texas. Mika was transported to a hospital and was in critical condition following surgery, according to a Tyson Foods spokesman.

Barth was hospitalized and released, according to Williams. Williams also injured his ankle while diving for cover.  

President Donald Trump said Wednesday afternoon that the assailant had died of gunshot wounds. The FBI said law enforcement officials identified him as 66-year-old James Hodgkinson of Illinois

Several GOP congressmen and at least two Republican senators attended the practice, Paul told MSNBC. They were preparing for an annual bipartisan charity baseball game set to take place on Thursday night at Nationals Park. The game will go on as scheduled. 

Late on Thursday, Trump released a video on Twitter to laud the tradition of the Congressional baseball game and express hope for Scalise to recover.


U.S. Sen. Jeff Flake (R-AZ) briefs members of the media near Eugene Simpson Stadium Park where a shooting took place on June 14, 2017 in Alexandria, Virginia.
Getty Images

South Carolina Republican Rep. Jeff Duncan told CNBC that he was approached by a man Wednesday morning who asked him whether the people practicing on the field were Democrats or Republicans. Rep. Ron DeSantis, R-Fla., who was with Duncan at the time, later told CNBC that the pair saw pictures of Hodgkinson and believe it was the same person who stopped them with the question. 

It is too early to tell if the shooting was a targeted attack, said Tim Slater, a special agent in charge of the FBI's Washington field office.

Scalise dragged himself into outfield 

Rep. Bergman provides eyewitness report on DC shooting

The shooting started shortly after 7 a.m. ET, and witnesses described Hodgkinson's weapon as a rifle. Paul said he heard a first, "isolated" shot followed by a "rapid succession" of five to 10 shots. 

Rep. Jack Bergman, R-Mich., told CNBC that the first shot came "from somewhere behind the third base dugout and then the second shot came shortly thereafter." They then "knew it was something real, so people started scrambling." 

"We are very fortunate. It could have been a whole lot worse," he said. 

Capitol Police and Alexandria police officers who responded to the scene exchanged fire with the shooter, according to Verderosa. Witnesses described dozens of shots ringing out before the firing stopped. 

Brooks told CNN that he saw Scalise drag himself from second base into the outfield after he was shot, leaving a trail of blood 10 to 15 yards long. Sen. Jeff Flake, R-Ariz., told reporters Scalise lay by himself for at least 10 minutes, as people could not reach him as shots were being fired.

"I wanted to get to him but there were still shots going overhead from both sides," he said. 

People helped an injured aide in the first base dugout, Flake told MSNBC. They also made sure Texas Rep. Joe Barton's 10-year-old son, who attended the practice, got to safety.

Barton teared up later Wednesday when he said he felt that his son "had 25 dads. Everybody out there was looking out for him." 

When they could make it to Scalise, Rep. Brad Wenstrup of Ohio, a former combat surgeon, applied pressure to the wound, Flake said. Wenstrup told CBS News that he "felt like [he] was back in Iraq." 

Trump said the Capitol Police officers "took down the gunman." 

Scalise was coherent throughout, according to Flake. The senator said he called Scalise's wife so she did not hear about the shooting on the news first.

Scalise's condition was critical and he would require further operations, MedStar Washington Hospital Center, a level one trauma center, said in a statement late Wednesday.

"Scalise sustained a single rifle shot to the left hip. The bullet travelled across his pelvis, fracturing bones, injuring internal organs, and causing severe bleeding," the statement said. 

He underwent a third operation on Thursday, according to multiple reports.

Google map showing the baseball field where shots were fired during a practice with congressmen in Alexandria, Virginia on June 14, 2017.
Google Maps

Politicians react 

Officials delayed or canceled many House hearings scheduled for Wednesday. The Senate chamber also canceled votes for the day, according to multiple reports. 

After the shooting on Wednesday, Trump called for unity. 

"We may have our differences, but we do well in times like these to remember that everyone who serves in our nation's capital is here because, above all, they love our country. We can all agree that we are blessed to be Americans ... and that we are strongest when we are unified and when we work together for the common good," the president said. 

Trump visited Scalise in the hospital on Wednesday evening. On Thursday, he said that Scalise is in "some trouble" but is a "great fighter." 

Donald J. Trump:  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!

In a statement to the House on Wednesday, Ryan praised the Capitol Police officers and also called for unity. 

"An attack on one of us is an attack on all of us," Ryan said, drawing a standing ovation. 

Rep. Ruben Kihuen, D-Nev., shared a photo of Democrats at their baseball practice praying for the Republicans. 

.@HouseDemocrats praying for our @HouseGOP @SenateGOP baseball colleagues after hearing about the horrific shooting. http://hill.cm/YvNG2Oz

— CNBC's Katie Little and Jeff Daniels contributed to this report.