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Monday October 16th, 2017 9:53PM

The Latest: Investigators studying gunman's phone, computer

By The Associated Press
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ALEXANDRIA, Va. (AP) — The Latest on the shooting of House Majority Whip Steve Scalise (all times local):

2:40 p.m.

Authorities say they are examining a cell phone, a computer and a camera found inside a white van where the gunman who wounded a top Republican congressman and several others had been living.

Investigators said in a statement that the FBI has searched the van, which was parked not far from the Alexandria, Virginia, baseball field where Wednesday's shooting took place. Investigators are still studying James T. Hodgkinson's social media profile and activities leading up to the attack.

Authorities also confirm Hodgkinson legally purchased a 9 mm handgun and an assault-style rifle from licensed firearms sellers.

Investigators say he shot House Rep. Steve Scalise before he was killed by police who had been guarding the congressman.

___

1:52 p.m.

A law enforcement official says the gunman who wounded a top Republican congressman and several other people during an early morning baseball practice legally purchased his rifle and handgun.

The official tells The Associated Press that 66-year-old James T. Hodgkinson legally bought the assault-style rifle and 9 mm Smith and Wesson handgun that authorities recovered after the attack. The official was not authorized to speak publicly about the investigation and did so only on condition of anonymity.

Investigators say Hodgkinson shot House Rep. Steve Scalise on Wednesday before he was killed by police who had been guarding Scalise on the Alexandria, Virginia, baseball field. Hodgkinson had arrests in his background but showed required firearms licenses to an Illinois deputy who confronted him about shooting a cornfield last spring.

—By Sadie Gurman

_____

1:30 p.m.

Republican Congressman Steve Scalise has been undergoing a third surgery after he and others were shot at a baseball practice by a man hostile to the GOP.

The Louisiana lawmaker, who is the No. 3 Republican in the House, remains in critical condition at MedStar Washington Hospital Center. He was shot in the hip in the Wednesday morning incident and the bullet fractured bones and injured internal organs, causing severe bleeding.

It was unclear whether he had emerged from surgery as of mid-day Thursday. The hospital did not immediately provide an update, but lawmakers were informed at a meeting Thursday morning that Scalise was in surgery.

President Donald Trump spoke at the White House, saying Scalise's condition is more difficult than initially thought.

___

11:52 a.m.

House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi is lashing out at "sanctimonious" Republicans — including some in Congress — who are suggesting vitriolic political rhetoric from the left may be partially to blame for the shooting that wounded GOP Congressman Steve Scalise.

Pelosi says it's "outrageous" and "beneath the dignity" of the House, adding: "How dare they say such a thing, how dare they."

The California Democrat notes that she herself is currently featured in millions of dollars of attack ads running in a Georgia House district where there's a hard-fought special election next week. She says that she's been getting calls to her home as a result.

Pelosi also notes that President Donald Trump occasionally used violent language on the campaign trail.

She says that everyone should examine their own conscience.

_____

11:50 a.m

Family members of Matt Mika say the Michigan native was shot multiple times in his chest and arm, and he remains in the intensive care unit in critical condition at George Washington University Hospital.

The family says in a statement Thursday that Mika suffered "massive trauma" Wednesday when a gunman opened fire at a baseball practice, injuring a congressman and others. Mika requires assistance to breath and will need more surgery.

The family said, "he is lucky to be alive" and credited the care he has received and "Matt's fighting spirit and grit."

Mika, a former aide to Michigan Republican Rep. Tim Walberg, is director of government relations for Tyson Foods Washington, D.C., office and has worked for the company for more than six years.

_____

11:30 a.m.

President Donald Trump says that wounded Congressman Steve Scalise's condition is more difficult than people first realized. And he says Scalise is "in some trouble."

The president paid a visit to Scalise on Wednesday night, meeting with Scalise's family and sitting by the congressman's bedside.

Trump says Scalise "continues his very brave fight," but adds: "it's been much more difficult than people even thought at the time. He's in some trouble."

Trump is also crediting the congressman for bringing people together.

He says: "Steve in his own way may have brought some unity to our long-divided country."

He's also saluting the Capitol police officers injured in the attack on a Republican Congressional baseball practice. He says, "They ran right into the fire" and saved a lot of lives.

_____

10:13 a.m.

The House has returned to business after a gunman fired at a baseball practice, critically injuring a top Republican lawmaker and wounding several others.

Republican Rep. Gregg Harper of Mississippi gaveled in the session on Thursday, and Rep. Glenn Thompson of Pennsylvania opened the morning speeches. Some 30 spectators watched the proceedings from the visitors' galleries.

Thompson spoke about oil in his district, then shifted to comments on the "horrific" events of Wednesday. Thompson offered his appreciation for the bravery of the U.S. Capitol Police. He called for replacing "the attacks of hateful personal politics and resistance" with respect.

Separately, Republicans also met behind closed doors before leaving Washington for the week. They also signed oversized cards sending well wishes to those who were injured in the shooting, including Rep. Steve Scalise of Louisiana.

_____

10:03 a.m.

Vice President Mike Pence has visited the Washington hospital and "checked in" on a Louisiana congressman recovering from a gunshot wound.

Pence tweeted shortly after leaving the MedStar Washington Hospital Center on Thursday morning that he and his wife, Karen, had thanked doctors and hospital staff.

The vice president also sought prayers for Rep. Steve Scalise and a Capitol Police officer who was shot Wednesday while defending Scalise and Republican colleagues from a shooter as they practiced for an annual charity baseball game Thursday night. The shooter later died from his injuries.

President Donald Trump and his wife, Melania, visited with Scalise late Wednesday.

After the hospital visit, Pence headed to Miami for a conference on Central America and meetings with the leaders of El Salvador, Honduras and Guatemala.

_____

7:45 a.m.

A congressional women's softball team has hit the practice field in Washington amid heavier security, a day after an attacker opened fire on Republican lawmakers practicing for a charity baseball game.

Police stood alongside the fence at the field where the women's team often gathers for early morning practices.

The team of Democrats and Republicans holds an annual softball game against female journalists.

The congressional baseball match pits Republicans against Democrats. The popular annual face-off, which raises money for charity, is scheduled to go forward as planned Thursday evening at Nationals Park in Washington.

___

4:00 a.m.

The business of the House is resuming a day after a rifle-wielding attacker opened fire on Republican lawmakers practicing for a charity baseball game.

The attack critically wounded House GOP Whip Steve Scalise of Louisiana and also injured Capitol police officers, and a current and former congressional aide. The assailant had nursed grievances against President Donald Trump and the GOP — and was shot by police and later died.

Votes were canceled in the House on Wednesday, but on Thursday they were taking place.

Scalise had been fielding balls at second base when he was shot and then dragged himself away from the infield in a trail of blood. The shooter was identified as James T. Hodgkinson, a 66-year-old home inspector from Illinois.

  • Associated Categories: Associated Press (AP), AP Sports, AP Online Baseball , AP Online Headlines - Washington, AP Online Congress News
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