Louisiana Rep. Steve Scalise is now out of the hospital and made his dramatic return to Congress on September 28, 2017, four months after surviving a shooting.
James T. Hogkinson opened fire in Alexandria, Virginia on the morning of June 14, 2017 at a ball field were several Republican members of Congress were practicing for the annual Congressional Baseball Game. Scalise was critically injured and taken to the MedStar Washington Hospital Center.
“I found out later just how much damage was done internally. You know, I mean, my femur was shattered,” Scalise told CBS News’ 60 Minutes in his first TV interview since the shooting. “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.”
The 51-year-old Scalise has represented Louisiana’s first Congressional district since 2008 and was first elected House Majority Whip in August 2014. He also served in the Louisiana Senate and House of Representatives before moving to Washington.
Scalise is married and has two children, who live in Louisiana. Here’s what you need to know about his wife, Jennifer Scalise.
1. She & Steve Married in 2005
Scalise and Jennifer have been married since March 19, 2005. According to the Times Picayune, the wedding took place at the St. Louis Cathedral in New Orleans. After the wedding, the two honeymooned in Europe. At the time of the wedding, Jennifer worked for Ses Inc., a Merriam, Kansas-based firm with “expertise in natural resources management, environmental consulting, agriculture and program development/verification,” according to its website.
Jennifer grew up in Louisiana and went to high school at Andrew Jackson Fundamental Magnet High School in Chalmette, according to the Times Picayune wedding announcement.
In March 2017, Scalise and Jennifer celebrated their 12th wedding anniversary, and Scalise wrote on Twitter that his wife is his best friend. On National Spouses Day, he said that he could not do his job without Jennifer.
2. Jennifer & Steve Live in Louisiana & Are Catholic
According to Scalise’s House of Representatives biography, he and his wife live in Jefferson, Louisiana. Steve tweeted on his wedding anniversary in 2013, “Wish I could be back home with her today.” But Jennifer does sometimes come to visit Steve in D.C.; this includes back in October 2015, when Jennifer surprised Steve in D.C. for his 50th birthday.
In January 2016, Steve posted a video of himself sledding down Capitol Hill with his wife.
Steve and Jennifer Scalise are both practicing Catholics. According to Politico, Steve and his wife attend the St. Agnes Catholic Church.
Scalise and Jennifer also enjoy jazz. In May 2015, Scalise posted a photo of himself with his wife at the 2015 New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival.
3. She Has a Son, Harrison Scalise, Who Is a Member of the Boy Scouts
Scalise and Jennifer are the parents of Harrison, who is a is a member of the Boy Scouts. Scalise has documented Harrison’s Boy Scouts career on his Twitter account.
When they were younger, Scalise was a member of the Boy Scouts. Jennifer was also a member of the Girl Scouts.
Harrison celebrates his birthday on May 8, which means that his birthday occasionally lines up with Mother’s Day.
4. Jennifer Is Also the Mother of Madison Scalise
Scalise and Jennifer Scalise are also the parents of daughter Madison.
Madison’s birthday is also in March and Scalise had President Donald Trump’s help in wishing his daughter a happy birthday. In a video message posted on Twitter, Trump told Madison to have a happy birthday and that she should listen to her father because he’s a “powerful man.”
“Madison, happy birthday,” Trump said. “Just listen to this man. He’s a powerful, powerful man. We love him.”
5. President Trump Spoke With Jennifer After the Shooting
Following the shooting, Trump spoke with Jennifer over the phone.
“I spoke with Steve’s wife Jennifer and pledged to her our full support,” Trump said in a statement from the White House after the shooting. “We’re with her and with the entire Scalise family.”
This is not how she found out about the shooting, though. Arizona Senator Jeff Flake, who was there on the baseball field during the shooting, says he called Jennifer immediately so that she would not find out about what happened by watching the news.
“After medical personnel arrived, Flake retrieved Scalise’s phone and made the first call to Scalise’s wife to notify her of the shooting,” Flake said in a statement. “He did to ensure that Mrs. Scalise would not find out about the shooting through the media.”
After the shooting, Jennifer rushed to Washington to be with her husband.
Two days after the shooting, Scalise’s office released a statement from Jennifer, in which she thanked Capitol Police for saving lives. The statement read:
On behalf of Steve and our children, I want to thank everyone from the bottom of our hearts for the incredible amount of prayers and warm wishes we have received since Wednesday’s events. We are especially appreciative of the strong outpouring of love and support from our neighbors, friends, from Louisiana and across the country, as well as from President Trump, Vice President Pence, and all of Steve’s colleagues who have reached out to us during this most challenging time. Most importantly, we are forever grateful for the heroism of Special Agents Crystal Griner and David Bailey, who saved the lives of everyone at the baseball field that morning, including Steve’s. Crystal and David have been family to us for years, and we ask that you continue to pray for their full recovery.
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