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House Majority Whip Scalise still critical but improved after second surgery

WASHINGTON  — The hospital where House Majority Whip 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.

He was among several people wounded early Wednesday when a rifle-wielding attacker fired on lawmakers on a baseball field in Alexandria, Virginia, outside Washington. The attacker was shot and later died. He was identified as James T. Hodgkinson, 66, of Belleville, Illinois. His motives were not initially clear.

Hodkinson’s wife 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 did between January and March. But she says he sold items from his business and told her he was going to Washington.

She 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.