Louisiana Rep. Steve Scalise returned to the House of Representatives for the first time since the June 14 shooting at the Alexandria, Virginia ball field where he was practicing for the Congressional Baseball Game. Scalise, Capitol Police officer Crystal Griner, Congressional staffer Zack Barth and Tyson Foods lobbyist Matt Mika were all injured in the shooting, and Mika and Scalise both required life-saving surgery. You can watch his speech in full below.
Scalise was welcomed with a standing ovation, and he spoke about the bravery of his Congressional Police protection. He credited them with saving his life, and the lives of many others.
“You have no idea how do this feels, to be back at work in the people’s House,” Scalise said. “I’m definitely a living example that miracles really do happen.”
Scalise “will participate in this morning’s vote series and address his colleagues on the House floor in his first public appearance since the shooting,” his office told ABC News.
Scalise is slowly making his way back into public life after the shooting. In addition to his return to Congress, the House Majority Whip will appear on 60 Minutes on October 1 with Jennifer and CBS This Morning anchor Norah O’Donnell. In the interview, Scalise said he spent most of the four days after the shooting unconscious.
“I found out later just how much damage was done internally. You know, I mean, my femur was shattered,” Scalise explained. “The hip and pelvis had serious damage where the bullet went through and, you know, did some damage to areas that had to be shored up with steel plates and then they did a phenomenal job of rebuilding, you know, kind of the, rebuilding Humpty Dumpty. I mean, there were, there was a lot of damage inside that had to get fixed.”
Scalise, along with several other Republican members of Congress were at a ball park in Alexandria, Virginia to practice for the annual Congressional Baseball Game. Thanks to Scalise’s high ranking within Republican Congressional leadership, he had his own protection, which was credited with saving lives. Officers Griner and David Bailey were hailed as heroes and received the the Medal of Valor from President Donald Trump, along with Alexandria police officers Nicole Battaglia, Alex Jensen, and Kevin Jobe.
The shooter was identified as James T. Hodgkinson, a 66-year-old man from Belleville, Illinois. He was injured in the shootout with police, and died from his injuries at George Washington Hospital. Hodgkinson took part in the Bernie Sanders presidential campaign and posted anti-Trump messages on social media.