Trump updates public on medical status of wounded GOP Congressman Steve Scalise

UPDATE 4 — 6/15, 1:54 p.m. EDT: Speaking from the White House to announce an executive order expanding federal apprenticeship and job training programs, President Trump updated the public on the medical status of wounded GOP Congressman Steve Scalise, saying the 51-year-old Louisiana native is “in some trouble.”

 

UPDATE 3 — 4:45 p.m. EDT: Following emergency surgery at MedStar Washington Hospital Center, wounded GOP Congressman Steve Scalise is conscious but in critical condition according to a statement by the medical facility.

Scalise was one of five victims, which also included a Washington-based Tyson Foods lobbyist, Matt Mika, who was shot in the chest and is also in critical condition after being operated on at George Washington University Hospital.

 

UPDATE  2 — 11:51 a.m. EDT: In remarks to the press late Wednesday morning, President Trump announced suspect shooter James Hodgkinson is dead and that Congressman Scalise is in stable condition.

 

UPDATE — 10:47 a.m. EDT: Law enforcement has identified Wednesday’s shooter as 66-year-old former home inspection business owner James Hodgkinson of Belleville, Ill.

According to Illinois state records, Hodgkinson’s residential inspection license expired in November 2016 and has not been renewed. In 2006, the suspect was charged with battery and aiding damage to a motor vehicle, but the case was later dismissed.

 

House Majority Whip Steve Scalise (R-La.) was wounded as a gunman opened fire on Republican members of Congress Wednesday morning at baseball practice in the northern Virginia city of Alexandria. Several other people, including a congressional aide and U.S. Capitol Police personnel were also hit.

Rep. Mo Brooks of Alabama told CNN that a man shot from a chain link fence behind the area of the third base. The congressional GOP delegation was practicing for an annual game against their Democratic colleagues at Washington’s Nationals Park on Thursday.

Capitol Police security detail responded to the incident, in which the gunman, now in custody, reportedly used a semiautomatic rifle.

“There must have been 50 to 100 shots fired,” Brooks said. “I hear Steve Scalise over near second base scream. He was shot.”

Brooks, along with Rep. Brad Wenstrup (Ohio) and Sen. Jeff Flake (Ariz.), came to Scalise’s aid as he crawled away from where the bullets were fired and applied pressure to the wound on the congressman’s left hip.

Sen. Rand Paul (Ky.) said, “It would have been a massacre,” without Capitol police. The security detail returned fire but as Brooks described it, “it was our pistol versus the shooter’s rifle.”

President Trump and Vice President Pence were both informed of the incident.

“We are deeply saddened by this tragedy. Our thoughts and prayers are with the members of Congress, their staffs, Capitol Police, first responders, and all others affected,” President Trump said in a statement.

According to sources, the shooting was a “deliberate attack”, the suspect is now in police custody and Scalise is in stable condition at a local hospital.

Further investigation into shooter James Hodgkinson’s background shows the 66-year-old Illinoisan had volunteered for Bernie Sanders’ presidential campaign in 2016 and more recently had posted a plethora of anti-Trump sentiments on his Facebook profile.

“I am sickened by this despicable act. Let me be as clear as I can be: Violence of any kind is unacceptable in our society and I condemn this action in the strongest possible terms,” Sanders said on the Senate floor.

 

Editor’s note: This story has been updated.

 

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