'Excellent' prognosis for legislator hurt in shooting


It's already a victory for America that members of Congress made a decision to go on with their charity baseball game a day after a shooting at a practice field in Alexandria, Virginia, left House Majority Whip Steve Scalise and a lobbyist in critical condition and three others injured.

Congressman Steve Scalise remains in critical condition following surgery to fix injuries sustained after he was shot at a congressional baseball practice Wednesday, hospital officials announced in a statement on Thursday evening.

The congressman underwent another surgery Saturday, and the hospital said he was more responsive and speaking with family.

Later, the crowd burst into applause as Capitol Police Officer David Bailey - who was injured as he pursued the shooter - hobbled to the mound on crutches and tossed the ceremonial first pitch.

Instead of wearing hats representing their home teams, as is the normal tradition, players on both teams will be wearing Louisiana State University hats in honor of Scalise, a Louisiana Republican.

Richmond said he saw Griner and Bailey nearly weekly when they fly home to Louisiana with Scalise.

The Republicans were on the field practicing the day before the charity game when James T. Hodgkinson opened fire and struck several members of Congress.

The surgeon said there were hundreds of bullet fragments in Mr Scalise's body, but "we have no intention to try and remove all the bullet fragments at this point".

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Trump says Scalise "continues his very courageous fight", but adds: "it's been much more hard than people even thought at the time".

In a final flourish of bipartisan camaraderie, Democrat Mike Doyle, his team's manager, accepted the trophy, then gave it to his Republican counterpart Joe Barton to put in Mr Scalise's office on behalf of the Democrats.

Scalise remains in critical condition at a hospital near the Capitol and has undergone multiple surgeries.

When the members of the Republican team were announced at Nationals Park, mention of Mr Scalise's name drew a standing ovation from the areas designated for Republican, Democrat and nonpartisan fans alike. President Donald Trump called Scalise's injury a possible sacrifice to unite the country's divided political system.

Within hours, the tragic shooting on a baseball practice field near Washington that left the shooter dead and a congressman and others wounded seemed to bring some foes in Congress together.

Hodgkinson had a history of posting angry messages against Trump and other Republicans on social media.

The game is scheduled to start at 6 p.m.

Later, President Trump said, "it's much more serious than we thought".