Scalise, the number three House Republican, was shot along with three other people early on Wednesday when a lone gunman, angry about President Donald Trump, attacked a group of Republican lawmakers as they practised for a congressional charity baseball game.
Scalise had police protecting him at the baseball field where he was shot because he is the third-highest ranking member in the U.S. House of Representative.
The popular annual face-off, which raises money for charity, is scheduled to go forward as planned Thursday evening at Nationals Park in Washington.
Bailey, who suffered a minor injury in the attack, surprised a roaring crowd of nearly 25,000 spectators in Nationals Park by hobbling on crutches to the pitcher’s mound to throw out the ceremonial first pitch at the 80th Congressional Baseball Game for Charity. All proceeds from the game go to charity.
The gunman, identified by law enforcement officials as 66-year-old James Hodgkinson of Belleville, Illinois, later died from injuries sustained during a shootout with police on the scene. The shooter was an IL man, James T. Hodgkinson, who had lashed out against President Trump and Republicans over social media.
“He’s in some trouble”, said Trump, who had visited late Wednesday.
The ticket sales for the game rose steadily since the shooting Wednesday at the Republican baseball practice, reports said quoting organizers. When the members of the Republican team were announced, mention of Scalise’s name drew a standing ovation throughout the stadium.
“Were in town because we’re tourists and I mean I heard about the shooting and I was like, ‘Wow, it would be cool to come today to show support for the congressmen, ‘” said Otis Amick of Phoenix.
The California Democrat notes that she herself is now featured in millions of dollars of attack ads running in a Georgia House district where there’s a hard-fought special election next week.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, House Speaker Paul Ryan and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi stood side by side to shout: “Let’s play ball!” and the crowd chanted “U-S-A!”
Zach Barth, a staffer for Republican Congressman Roger Williams, and Matt Mika, director of government relations for Tyson Foods, were wounded in the attack. The Democrats emerged as 11-2 winners.
“I could tell it meant a lot to [Bailey] and for me it was the highlight of my night”, Rep. Brendan Boyle, D-Pa., said.
The president says that because of the “tremendous pain and suffering he’s now enduring. our country will perhaps become closer, more unified”.
From the stands, Vince Wetzel, a resident of Sacramento, California, who is visiting Washington and made a decision to take in the game, said, “It’s just a good call to put aside political differences and just play some baseball”. Rep. Mike Doyle of the Democrat team will be hosting a dinner next Wednesday for the Republican team in order that all may come together and reflect, reported CNN.
“In Washington we have our disagreements, but we all agree that we are here to serve this nation we love and the people who call it home“, he said.
Sava said he told Scalise’s family that “I am not declaring victory until he’s playing ball in his back yard with his family”.