Monday, 25 September, 2017

Shooter went to GOP baseball practice with list of names

Congressional Baseball Game carries on, one day after shooting Rep. Scalise undergoes more surgery as authorities track shooter's path
Craig Ferguson | 22 June, 2017, 09:05

Scalise, 51, suffered a rifle wound in his left hip that shattered bones, tore organs and caused severe bleeding.

Scalise is sedated, but the husband and father of two has been able to respond to his doctors and family.

Scalise is still in critical condition and faces several more operations, but doctors are "encouraged" by his progress.

"I feel a lot more confident and a lot more optimistic than I did two or three days ago", Sava said, suggesting that the Louisana Republican had faced an imminent risk of death when he arrived by helicopter at the facility after Wednesday's shooting.

In the course of Thursday night's charity game, which drew a record attendance to Nationals Park, MedStar hospital issued a new update on Scalise's condition, saying that the lawmaker "remains in critical condition, but has improved in the last 24 hours".

From the stands, Vince Wetzel, a resident of Sacramento, California, who is visiting Washington and made a decision to take in the game, said, "It's just a good call to put aside political differences and just play some baseball". The person did not disclose the names, but said those listed had been briefed.

Sen. Jeff Flake of Arizona, who was at Wednesday's practice and gave medical help after the shooting, said it would have "been awful" if the game had been canceled, and said Scalise would want it to go on.

The shooter was identified as James T. Hodgkinson, a 66-year-old home inspector from IL who had several minor run-ins with the law in recent years and belonged to a Facebook group called "Terminate the Republican Party". However, members said the shooting served as the best motivator for both parties to come together and play ball.

Law enforcement officials proceeded Friday with their investigation of the attack at a suburban Virginia park, including examining Hodgkinson's social media activities and his home in Belleville, Illinois.

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Mr Scalise was shot as he fielded at second base during practice for an annual Republicans-Democrats baseball game.

Scalise underwent a third surgery Thursday and was still in critical condition in the morning at a local Washington, D.C., hospital.

"And let's keep the Warmbier family and the Scalise family and all of the victims of the congressional shooting in our hearts and prayers", Trump continued.

The announcer's mention of Scalise, the House majority whip who was critically wounded in the attack Wednesday, brought the masses to their feet.

Hodgkinson was eventually killed by Capitol police.

Trump, who visited Scalise at the hospital on Wednesday, said the congressman was "in some trouble but he's going to be okay, we hope".

Mrs. Scalise thanked the first responders, and said the family is "forever grateful for the heroism" of Griner and Bailey.

Mika is a lobbyist for Tyson Foods and a former aide to Michigan Republican Rep. Tim Walberg.

Sava also said Capitol Police Officer Crystal Griner, who was also transported to the MedStar facility is now, "in good condition and she's in good spirits".

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