House Majority Whip Steve Scalise, Champion of Gulf Seafood, Critically Injured by Gunman

by / Newsroom Ink on June 14, 2017

by Gulf Seafood News Staff

(ALEXANDRIA, VA) — House Majority Whip Steve Scalise (R-LA) was critically injured Wednesday morning when a lone rifleman opened fire at a practice for tomorrow’s annual Congressional Baseball Game at Eugene Simpson Stadium Park.

Scalise was one of five people injured in the attack, which police say involved several dozen rounds of bullets just seven miles from the U.S. Capitol. His office released a statement that “prior to entering surgery, the Whip was in good spirits” and was speaking. MedStar Washington Hospital Center listed him in critical but stable condition as of 4:40pm EST.

“We were shocked to learn of Congressman Steve Scalise’s tragic shooting this morning. It is a senseless act of violence that has no explanation,” said Stan Harris, president of the Louisiana Restaurant Association, and a longtime Gulf Seafood Institute supporter.

Scalise and other Congressional leaders and staffers were practicing for Thursday’s annual charity event at Nationals Park when the suspect began firing unprovoked through the chain link fence surrounding the practice field. The game has been a tradition since 1909 between Senate and House members of each party.

Scalise took one bullet to his left hip at second base, then successfully distanced himself from the shooter by crawling into the outfield to await assistance. The suspect, from Belleville, Illinois, was shot by responding officers and later died.  Two U.S. Capitol police officers assigned to Scalise were also shot, as well as a staff member for Rep. Roger Williams (R-TX) and a lobbyist for Tyson Foods who was a former congressional aide.

From earlier this year, left to right: Stan Harris, Louisiana Restaurant Association, Majority Whip Scalise, GSI president Harlon Pearce, and GSI executive director Margaret Henderson.

Scalise is the third most powerful politician in the U.S. House of Representatives, a respected, fierce defender of Louisiana’s coastal wetlands, and a loyal friend of Gulf seafood.

Medical Condition

Majority Whip Scalise’s condition was upgraded to serious on Saturday evening after the hospital reported continued signs of improvement.

According to Dr. Jack Sava, Director of Trauma for MedStar Washington Hospital Center, Scalise suffered a transpelvic gunshot wound — the bullet entered in his hip and traveled straight across toward the other hip.  The round fragmented, and caused significant damage to bones, internal organs and blood vessels. Scalise was awake initially, but was in shock due to severe bleeding by the time he arrived at MedSTAR by helicopter. Surgeons successfully stopped the internal bleeding, but the Congressman will require additional operations to manage abdominal injuries and other broken bones, Sava said. He will be in the hospital for some time, with a period of recovery and rehabilitation after discharge, Sava said.

Special Agent Crystal Griner with the United States Capitol Police sustained a gunshot wound to the ankle, and remains hospitalized in good condition, according to a hospital advisory.

“We were shocked and saddened to learn of the shooting this morning involving our friend, Majority Whip Scalise,” said Harlon Pearce, president of the Gulf Seafood Institute. “We wish him a quick and full recovery and look forward to working with him back on Capitol Hill.”

A somber hole in GSI’s schedule yesterday showed “canceled” where eight members were to meet with Scalise about various issues affecting the Gulf seafood industry.

Harris said having Scalise in his leadership position provides “immeasurable value to our state.”

“His energy and passion in representing the people in his district is second to none,” Harris said. “As House majority whip Steve is an amazing friend to the Louisiana Restaurant Association and the restaurant/hospitality industry. He has been our stalwart since his service in the state legislature.

“We extend our prayers to Steve, Jennifer and his family during his period of recovery and look forward to his return,” Harris said.

GSI Newsroom will update this story with changes to Majority Whip’s condition as we’re made aware.

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About the Author

About the Author: Ed Lallo is the former editor of Gulf Seafood News and CEO of Newsroom Ink, an online brand journalism agency. .


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