WASHINGTON — House GOP Whip Steve Scalise, who was shot in the hip by a rifle-wielding gunman Wednesday, was at “imminent risk of death” when he first arrived at the D.C. hospital where he remains in critical condition, according to the hospital’s head of trauma.
“He was as critical as you can be when he came in,” Dr. Jack Salva, with MedStar Hospital Washington Center, said during a news conference Friday.
After operations over the past two days to control internal bleeding and stabilize his vital signs, Scalise’s condition has improved, but he remains in the hospital’s intensive care unit in critical condition, Salva said.
Salva said he expects Scalise to remain in the hospital for a considerable length of time, presumably weeks, and will need to undergo further operations.
Capitol Police Special Agent Crystal Griner, who was shot in the ankle during a gunfight with the shooter, remained at MedStar in good condition and “in good spirits,” Salva said.
Authorities say 66-year-old James Hodgkinson, of Belleville, Illionis, opened fire early Wednesday morning at an Alexandria, Virginia, baseball field where GOP lawmakers were practicing for an upcoming charity baseball game. Hodgkinson wounded Scalise and Griner as well as a lobbyist for Tyson Foods and a congressional staffer.
Hodgkinson was fatally shot during an exchange on gunfire with police during the rampage.
The condition of the lobbyist, Matt Mika, who was shot multiple time in the chest and arm, had improved from critical to serious Thursday afternoon, according to George Washington University Hospital.
Salva said the single rifle shot fragmented after it struck Scalise, doing substantial damage to bones, internal organs and blood vessels.
“Predicting the length of his hospital stay is difficult today,” Salva said.
Scalise will require rehabilitation after he leaves the hospital but Salva said he believed he would be able to run and walk again.
Scalise has been sedated since he was hospitalized but has recognized and responded to family members.