WASHINGTON — Three days after he was shot in the hip by a high-velocity rifle, U.S. Rep. Steve Scalise has regained consciousness and is able to talk softly, having spoken with his wife Saturday morning for the first time since the day he was shot, leading doctors to upgrade his condition from critical to serious.
Medical staff also have removed a tube that had been inserted into Scalise's abdomen to prevent fluid from going into his lungs while he was sedated, according to two sources close to the congressman's family, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to comment on the congressman's medical status.
WASHINGTON — U.S. Rep. Steve Scalise faced an "imminent risk of death" after a high-velocity…
MedStar Washington Hospital Center, where Scalise is being treated, released a statement saying the congressman had undergone another surgery Saturday, and that his condition had been upgraded as he "continues to show signs of improvement."
A message was posted Saturday evening to Scalise's Twitter account that said he was watching the LSU baseball game and "rooting hard for a big Tigers win" in the College World Series.
"He is more responsive, and is speaking with his loved ones," the hospital said in a statement. "The Scalise family greatly appreciates the outpouring of thoughts and prayers."
The update came a day after a doctor told reporters here that Scalise not only is expected to walk again but "hopefully run" some time after he is released from the hospital.
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Dr. Jack Sava, the director of trauma at MedStar Washington Hospital Center, said in his comments Friday that Scalise's prognosis had improved considerably over the past few days, adding the congressman had faced an "imminent risk of death" after he was shot Wednesday in Alexandria, Va.
"I feel a lot more confident and a lot more optimistic than I did two or three days ago," Sava said. The doctor added, however, that Scalise will certainly be in the hospital for a considerable period of time, presumably weeks."
Scalise, the House majority whip, was among four people shot by a lone gunman who opened fire on a group of Republican lawmakers practicing baseball at the Eugene Simpson Stadium Park. Two Capitol Police officers were wounded in the attack; they were credited with averting a massacre. The gunman, James T. Hodgkinson, was fatally shot by police.
Scalise had been awake and talkative immediately after the shooting, Sava said, but had gone into shock by the time he arrived at the hospital. He's been sedated since then, the doctor added, "but we've been able to turn that sedation down enough for him to respond to his family members, and he clearly knows that they're there and appreciates their presence."
Meanwhile, new details continued to emerge Saturday about Hodgkinson, 66, of Belleville, Illinois, a staunch GOP opponent who before the shooting had expressed bitterly critical views of President Donald Trump and other Republicans on social media.
National news outlets reported that Hodgkinson, at the time of the shooting, had a piece of paper adorned with doodles and the names of at least three Republican lawmakers. Scalise's name was not among them, according to the New York Times and other media outlets.
The Associated Press, citing an anonymous source, reported that investigators aren't sure of the significance of the names and don't know if it was a list of people he was targeting. Along with the names — Representatives Mo Brooks of Alabama, Jeff Duncan of South Carolina and Trent Franks of Arizona — Hodgkinson also had photos of the field on his phone, law enforcement officials told the New York Times. Brooks and Duncan were at the practice, but Franks was not.
Franks confirmed in an interview with CNN that Capitol Police had contacted him about the list, but he declined to elaborate.
Fox News reported that three other GOP lawmakers — Rep. Jim Jordan, R-Ohio; Rep. Scott DesJarlais, R-Tennessee; and Rep. Morgan Griffith, R-Virginia — were also on the list. All six names are people associated with the House Freedom Caucus, a conservative faction of Republicans, the station said.
None of the latter three were at the practice when the shooting happened. There were no explicit threats on the list, officials said.
Another victim of the shooting, Matt Mika, has undergone an additional surgery and shown "positive results," according to a statement released by his family. Mika, a lobbyist for Tyson Foods and former congressional aide, is expected to remain in intensive care at George Washington University Hospital through the weekend.
WASHINGTON — The man who shot House Majority Whip Steve Scalise and others at a congressiona…
James T. Hodgkinson walked up to the ballfield outside a YMCA in Arlington, Virginia, toting…
"While we know there will be difficult and challenging days ahead for Matt and our family, the phsycians and specialists at Matt's side expect a full recovery," the statement said.