Rep. Steve Scalise, who was wounded six weeks ago when a man opened fire at a GOP baseball practice in Alexandria, Va., was discharged this week from MedStar Washington Hospital Center.
MedStar Washington said Wednesday that the House majority whip was discharged a day earlier and will begin “intensive inpatient rehabilitation.” The hospital also said in a brief statement that he is “in good spirits and is looking forward to his return to work once he completes rehabilitation.”
The gunman, James T. Hodgkinson, a 66-year-old unemployed home inspector from southern Illinois, died after the shootout. Scalise (R-La.) and four others were injured in the incident, including two U.S. Capitol Police officers who were on Scalise’s security detail.
Scalise’s Washington office confirmed that he had been released from the hospital and referred to the hospital’s statement.
Scalise suffered a single bullet wound to the hip in the June 14 incident outside a YMCA facility. Doctors said Scalise was at “imminent risk of death” when he was first admitted to the hospital and underwent several surgeries. He was readmitted to the intensive care unit on July 5 because of concerns about infection and subsequently had another operation.
Hodgkinson used a high-powered 7.62-millimeter rifle and a 9mm handgun as he opened fire on the baseball field where the team of congressional Republicans was practicing. The shooting unfolded as the Republican lawmakers and their aides were almost done with batting practice for a charity baseball game.
Hodgkinson had been living out of his white cargo van on a street in Alexandria, according to federal officials. He had left his home in a rural area outside St. Louis about two months before the shooting, selling almost everything he owned from his business before coming to the Washington area.
People in the Alexandria area said Hodgkinson became a fixture at the YMCA near the baseball field. He drew notice at the facility but not suspicions as he sometimes sat in the YMCA’s lobby, focusing on his laptop and carrying a gym bag but never working out.
His wife, Sue Hodgkinson, has said her husband ran out of money trying to live in the D.C. region and was expected to head home. She also said there was no warning that he would do anything violent.
On Wednesday, several members of Congress responded to Scalise’s hospital discharge, wishing him a quick recovery in Twitter messages.
“Great news for my good friend @SteveScalise,” wrote Rep. Mike Johnson (R-La.). “Continued prayers for him and his family as he completes the recovery process! #ScaliseStrong.”
Rep. Tom Emmer (R-Minn.) added: “Here’s to a speedy recovery! Can’t wait to have my friend @SteveScalise back at work! Congress has not been the same without him.”