The Latest: Scalise still critical but improved

 (AP) - The Latest on the shooting of House Majority Whip Steve Scalise (all times EDT):


8:30 p.m.


The hospital where Rep. Steve Scalise is recuperating from a gunshot wound says he "remains in critical condition, but has improved in the last 24 hours."


MedStar Washington Hospital Center says Scalise underwent surgery Thursday related to his internal injuries and a broken bone in his leg.


The hospital says the Louisiana congressman "will require additional operations, and will be in the hospital for some time."


Scalise was wounded when a gunman opened fire at a Republican baseball practice in Virginia on Wednesday. After Scalise was shot in the hip, the bullet traveled through his pelvis, fractured bones and injured internal organs.




8 p.m.


One of the Capitol Police officers injured in Wednesday's shooting has thrown out the first pitch at the congressional baseball game - to thunderous applause.


David Bailey walked to the pitcher's mound on crutches and former New York Yankees manager Joe Torre handed him the game ball. Bailey then threw a pitch that bounced before reaching the catcher, Roberto Clemente Jr.


Bailey gave a good-natured shrug as the stadium applauded.


Bailey is a member of Congressman Steve Scalise's protective detail. He sustained a relatively minor injury Wednesday morning as he and other officers engaged with a gunman who shot up a practice of the GOP baseball team.


Scalise remains in critical condition as his teammates honor him at the game at Nationals Park.




7:40 p.m.


President Donald Trump is calling for unity in a video message to the Congressional Baseball game, telling the Republican and Democratic competitors "we are here to serve this nation we love and the people who call it home."


Trump wasn't able to attend the event in person due to security protocols. But he recorded a message that played at the top of the game, paying tribute to Rep. Steve Scalise, who remains in critical condition following a shooting attack on the Republicans practicing for the game Wednesday morning.


Trump says, "Steve is our friend, he's a patriot and he's a true fighter." He says the country is praying for all of the victims who are still recovering.


Trump ends his remarks with, "Ladies and gentlemen, let's play ball."




7:15 p.m.


Republicans and Democrats are fighting for bragging rights in their annual Congressional Baseball game, and doing so as one unit - Team Scalise.


The opposing sides are paying tribute to Rep. Steve Scalise, the House majority whip who was critically wounded when a gunman opened fire at a Republican baseball practice in Virginia on Wednesday.


Scalise was shot in the hip, and sustained grievous injuries as the bullet traveled through his pelvis and injured internal organs.


Many of the players in the congressional game Thursday night are wearing Louisiana State University hats in honor of Scalise, a graduate of the school, as they assemble at Nationals Park in Washington.




6:30 p.m.


The wife of the gunman who wounded a Republican congressman and several others says her husband went to Washington because he wanted to work with people on changing tax brackets.


Sue Hodgkinson told reporters outside her Illinois home Thursday that she was busy with her job and didn't know a lot about what her husband, 66-year-old James Hodgkinson, did between January and March. But she says he sold items from his business and told her he was going to Washington.


Sue Hodgkinson says she saw no signs her husband was planning violence, didn't know what to say about it and wanted her family and neighbors left alone.


She also says she didn't want to discuss her husband's politics. James Hodgkinson had been a vocal opponent of the Republican party.




5:20 p.m.


A Secret Servicer officer was injured Wednesday evening by a vehicle he was trying to stop from disrupting President Donald Trump's motorcade back from the hospital where two victims of the attack on a congressional baseball practice are being treated.


A Washington Metropolitan Police Department report says the officer was manning a traffic checkpoint when the driver failed to obey repeated orders to stop.


The officer wound up having to jump on the hood of the driver's Mazda SUV to avoid being struck directly. He sustained minor injuries to one of his wrists, elbows and lower back in the process.


The driver was arrested for failure to obey an order and assault with a dangerous weapon.


The arrest was first reported by CNN.




2:40 p.m.


Authorities say they are examining a cell phone, a computer and a camera found inside a white van where the gunman who wounded a top Republican congressman and several others had been living.


Investigators said in a statement that the FBI has searched the van, which was parked not far from the Alexandria, Virginia, baseball field where Wednesday's shooting took place. Investigators are still studying James T. Hodgkinson's social media profile and activities leading up to the attack.


Authorities also confirm Hodgkinson legally purchased a 9 mm handgun and an assault-style rifle from licensed firearms sellers.


Investigators say he shot House Rep. Steve Scalise before he was killed by police who had been guarding the congressman.




1:52 p.m.


A law enforcement official says the gunman who wounded a top Republican congressman and several other people during an early morning baseball practice legally purchased his rifle and handgun.


The official tells The Associated Press that 66-year-old James T. Hodgkinson legally bought the assault-style rifle and 9 mm Smith and Wesson handgun that authorities recovered after the attack. The official was not authorized to speak publicly about the investigation and did so only on condition of anonymity.


Investigators say Hodgkinson shot House Rep. Steve Scalise on Wednesday before he was killed by police who had been guarding Scalise on the Alexandria, Virginia, baseball field. Hodgkinson had arrests in his background but showed required firearms licenses to an Illinois deputy who confronted him about shooting a cornfield last spring.


-By Sadie Gurman



(Copyright 2017 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

6/15/2017 5:38:34 PM (GMT -7:00)

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