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19 June 2017, 03:05 | Opal Carroll
Win McNamee Getty Images 2017 Congressional Baseball Game at Nationals Park
Federal Bureau of Investigation agents continue to search for evidence on the baseball field in Alexandria, Va., Thursday, June 15, 2017, the day after House Majority Whip Steve Scalise of La. was shot during during a congressional baseball practice.
Scalise, 51, and three others were wounded when a man identified as James Hodgkinson, 66, from the St. Louis suburb of Belleville, Illinois opened fire on Republican lawmakers in Alexandria, Virginia practicing for the charity game.
The motive for the shooting remained unclear but authorities were zeroing in on the life of James T. Hodgkinson, a 66-year-old man from IL, in the months and weeks before Wednesday morning's shooting.
From the stands, Vince Wetzel, a resident of Sacramento, California, said: "It's just a good call to put aside political differences and just play some baseball". He arrived "in critical condition with an imminent risk of death", Sava said, adding that now, "we are encouraged by improvement in his condition".
According to the doctors, the main concern for Scalise at this point is making sure he does not have an infection.
Scalise returned to surgery Thursday morning.
The bullet entered Scalise's left hip and tore across his pelvis, cracking bones and injuring organs and blood vessels.
In his first public comments since the shooting, Dr. Jack Sava of MedStar Washington Hospital Center said it's a "good possibility" that the Louisiana Republican will be able to return to work in his full capacity.
Scalise was shot Wednesday morning as a gunman sprayed bullets into a GOP congressional baseball practice.
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That unity also is evident in the pulling-together of Washington and the nation to hope for Scalise's recovery. "He is more responsive and is speaking with his loved ones", the doctor said.
"By playing tonight you will show the world that we will not be intimidated by threats, acts of violence or assaults on our democracy", he said.
The president said that because of the "tremendous pain and suffering he's now enduring. our country will perhaps become closer, more unified".
On Thursday, the hospital reiterated that Scalise will need more operations and will be in the hospital "for some time".
And because the shooter's political views drove him to commit a insane and violent act, all Washington is on edge as Scalise fights for his life. "He remains in critical condition but has improved in the last 24 hours", the hospital said in a statement.
"Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, House Speaker Paul Ryan and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi stood side by side to shout: "Let's play ball!" and the crowd chanted "U-S-A! He was transported in shock to MedStar Washington Hospital Center, a Level I Trauma Center.
Hodgkinson - an IL home inspector who had been living out of his van near the park - had a social media page filled with criticism of Republicans and the Trump administration. He declined to describe specific internal injuries.
Scalise was fielding ground balls at second base Wednesday when he was shot at a practice for the annual Republicans-Democrats baseball game.
Before the game got started, members of Congress held a non-partisan prayer to honor Scalise and the Capitol Police in the middle of the field.
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