Scalise on the mend, now in 'serious' condition

Signs acknowledging wounded congressman Rep. Steve Scalise are seen prior to the Congressional Baseball Game at Nationals Park in Washington U.S

Scalise, the House majority whip, was one of five people shot when a gunman opened fire Wednesday as the Republican team practiced in Alexandria, Virginia.

Although Scalise was able to talk while lying injured on the ball field, he had gone into shock by the time he was transported by helicopter to the hospital and arrived "in critical condition with an imminent risk of death", Sava said.

That's according to a statement from Medstar Washington Hospital Center.

U.S. House Majority Whip Steve Scalise speaks to the media after a meeting at Trump Tower on December 12, 2016, in New York City.

"He is more responsive, and is speaking with his loved ones", the update said, adding that the 51-year-old congressman's family "greatly appreciates the outpouring of thoughts and prayers".

The majority whip was shot during a congressional baseball practice in what's being described as a politically motivated assassination attempt. The person did not disclose the names, but said those listed had been briefed.

The round fragmented into hundreds of pieces and tore apart bones, internal organs and blood vessels, Jack Sava, director of trauma at MedStar Washington Hospital Center, has said.

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Nonetheless, said Sava, "we fully expect him to be able to walk" and 'hopefully run'.

Sava said Scalise would need to undergo an additional operation within the next 48 hours and more beyond that.

"I feel a lot more confident and a lot more optimistic than I did two, three days ago", Dr Sava said.

Also suffering relatively minor injuries were two Capitol Police officers, David Bailey and Crystal Griner, and House GOP aide Zack Barth.

Ms Griner remains in hospitali at MedStar after being shot in the ankle and Mr B ailey was spotted on Friday in the Capitol, on crutches and out of uniform, accepting congratulations from fellow officers.

As congressional Republicans and Democrats joined Thursday night in their annual baseball game, played this year in Scalise's honor, word came from the hospital that he remained in critical condition, but had "improved in the last 24 hours".

Hodgkinson 66, who was from the St. Louis suburb of Belleville, Illinois, died after being shot by police.

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