House Majority Whip Steve Scalise, R-La., was wounded in a shooting at a Republican congressional baseball practice last Wednesday. File photo by Kevin Dietsch/UPI | License Photo
June 18 (UPI) -- The hospital treating Rep. Steve Scalise said it upgraded his condition to "serious" after performing additional surgery for injuries sustained in a shooting at a Republican congressional baseball practice last week.
Scalise "continues to show signs of improvement," MedStar Washington Hospital Center said in a statement released on behalf of his family Saturday. "He is more responsive, and is speaking with his loved ones. The Scalise family greatly appreciates the outpouring of thoughts and prayers."
The hospital upgraded the third-ranking Republican leader from critical condition.
Scalise, 51, spoke while lying injured on the ball field but went into shock when he was transported by helicopter to the hospital in the District of Columbia. He arrived "in critical condition with an imminent risk of death," Dr. Jack Sava, director of trauma at the hospital, said Friday.
Scalise will be in the hospital "for some time" and will need "a period of healing and rehabilitation" after being discharged.
Two sources close to the congressman's family said medical staff removed a tube that had been inserted into Scalise's abdomen to prevent fluid from going into his lungs while being sedated, The Baton Rouge Advocate reported.
A message posted on Scalise's Twitter account said the congressman from Louisiana on Saturday was watching the Louisiana State baseball game and "rooting hard for a big Tigers win" in the College World Series. LSU later defeated Florida State 5-4.
Two other people injured in Wednesday's attack in Alexandria, Va., remain hospitalized. Tyson Foods lobbyist Matt Mika underwent additional surgery and his family said in a statement he was showing "positive results" and was expected to make a full recovery. U.S. Capitol Police officer Crystal Griner remained in the hospital in good condition after sustaining a gunshot wound to the ankle, according to a Friday update.
Congressional aide Zach Barth was treated and released from wounds. Capitol Police officer David Bailey and Texas Rep. Roger Williams were also injured during the incident.
The gunman, identified as 66-year-old James Hodgkinson of Belleville, Ill., died from injuries sustained during the shootout with police.