Scalise shooting: Playing congressional baseball game shows needed unity

Claudine Rigal
Июня 19, 2017

This year's congressional charity baseball game is proceeding after a rifle-wielding critic of President Donald Trump opened fire June 14, 2017 on USA lawmakers practicing for the charity event, seriously wounding a top Republican congressman and three others before he was killed by police.

The shooter, identified as James T. Hodgkinson, a 66-year-old home inspector from IL, was shot and killed by Capitol Police officers who were in Scalise's security detail.

Investigators studying Wednesday's attack at a suburban Virginia park said Thursday that shooter James Hodgkinson had obtained his rifle and handgun from licensed firearms dealers.

"We're going to play, we need to play", he said.

Following the shooting, President Donald Trump urged Americans to come together as he assumed the role of national unifier for one of the first times in his presidency.

In an emotional interview with CNN's Brooke Baldwin, Republican Rep. Rodney Davis and his wife recalled the horror of Wednesday's shooting at a congressional baseball practice. "So we all owe Steve a big, big thank you".

Colleagues who visited Scalise sounded generally upbeat, but spoke more in terms of hopes than the confident predictions of the immediate aftermath a day earlier.

Scalise underwent a third surgery Thursday and was still in critical condition in the morning at a local Washington, D.C., hospital.

Capitol Police officer David Bailey, on crutches from a bullet wound, threw out the first pitch.

Republican and Democrats faced off in the the Congressional Baseball Game Thursday night, but the spirit of bipartisanship was alive and well following the assassination attempt on some lawmakers.

Democrat and Republican lawmakers will meet tonight in a rare bipartisan exercise, even though they are literally playing hardball.

Mr Trump visited the hospital late on Wednesday and said Mr Scalise was "in some trouble".

US Congressman Steve Scalise at a press conference in Washington, DC, June 13, 2017.

Barton added that Scalise, who is in critical condition after being shot in the hip during the incident, would not play in the charity game. The bullet traveled across his pelvis, fracturing bones, injuring internal organs, and causing severe bleeding. Two Capitol Police officers sustained relatively minor injuries, as did a congressional aide, and they have been released from hospitals.

Before the event, House Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi told reporters, "Tonight we will go to the game, play our hardest, but we will all be Team Scalise".

"Everyone's getting a bunch of death threats right now", Representative Ruben Gallego, a Democrat, told The Los Angeles Times.

From the stands, Vince Wetzel, a resident of Sacramento, California, who is visiting Washington and chose to take in the game, said, "It's just a good call to put aside political differences and just play some baseball". Griner remained hospitalized at MedStar Hospital after getting shot in the ankle, and Sava described her in good condition.

While top lawmakers, including Scalise, have security details, others do not and they regularly appear in public without protection.

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