This article was originally published on abcnews.go.com by Karma Allen on June 15, 2017.
Rep. Steve Scalise was in critical condition as of late Wednesday night, after suffering severe injuries from a gunshot wound when a gunman opened fire on Republican congressmen practicing Wednesday morning for a congressional baseball game.
The House majority whip and Louisiana Republican was rushed to a Washington trauma center Wednesday with fractured bones and internal organ damage, according to hospital officials.
He is suffering from a rifle shot to the left hip and severe blood loss, according to MedStar Washington Hospital Center, which said Wednesday night that he required “immediate surgery” and multiple units of blood for a transfusion.
President Trump and first lady Melania Trump made a visit to the hospital Wednesday night.
Earlier in the day, Trump said in a televised statement that “many lives would have been lost if not for the heroic actions of the two Capitol Police officers who took down the gunman despite sustaining gunshot wounds during a very, very brutal assault.”
He added, “Congressman Scalise is a friend, and a very good friend. He’s a patriot and he’s a fighter.”
Scalise was shot at about 7 a.m. Wednesday at Eugene Simpson Stadium Park in Alexandria, Virginia, where a number of lawmakers were practicing for the annual charity congressional baseball game set to take place today. That game will go on as scheduled.
Lobbyist Matt Mika, congressional staffer Zack Barth and Capitol Police officer Crystal Griner were also shot. Additionally, two individuals — Rep. Roger Williams, R-Texas, and a Capitol Police officer — sustained minor secondary injuries.
The alleged assailant
The suspected shooter, later identified as James Hodgkinson, 66, of Belleville, Illinois, was killed in a shootout with police. The immediate motive for the shooting has not been fully fleshed out, but Hodgkinson had reportedly expressed strident anti-Republican views on social media and directed particular ire at Trump after he became president.
Hodgkinson was also a one-time volunteer for Bernie Sanders’ campaign for president last year. Sanders on Wednesday unequivocally repudiated Hodgkinson’s actions and decried his use of violence.
Hodgkinson’s wife told ABC News Wednesday that he had been living in Alexandria for the past two months, had not been working and that he was supposed to return home in the coming days.
The FBI released a “Seeking Information” poster late Wednesday asking the public for any information regarding the suspect. Authorities believe Hodgkinson had been in the Washington, D.C., area since March and living out of a white cargo van.
Police said they were investigating the vehicle, as well as his electronic devices, with hopes of gathering more information about him.
Mark Kern, the former mayor of Belleville, Illinois, told ABC News Wednesday that Hodgkinson was fired from a county contract to remove lead from community buildings in 2003 after he was found rummaging through desks, looking for a check.