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Shooting brought unity to 'very, very divided' US: Trump

Press Trust of India  |  Washington 

US President Donald Trump today said the shooting at a suburb that badly injured a congressman has brought some unity to a "very, very divided" country.

Trump and his wife Melania last night visited Republican Congressman Steve Scalise, the third-ranking Republican leader in the House of Representative, in hospital a day after he and four others were badly wounded when a gunman opened fire on them during baseball practice in Alexandria, Virginia.

"We've had a very, very divided country for many years. I have a feeling that Steve has made a great sacrifice, but there could be some unity being brought to our country. Let's hope so," Trump said at an event here.

"Scalise sustained a single rifle shot to the left hip. The bullet travelled across his pelvis, fracturing bones, injuring internal organs, and causing severe bleeding," the hospital said in a statement.

The gunman identified by the FBI as James T Hodgkinson, a 66-year-old, was shot at by the police. He died later.

"(Scalise) underwent immediate surgery, and an additional procedure to stop bleeding. He has received multiple units of blood transfusion. His condition is critical, and he will require additional operations," the hospital said in a statement.

"I visited Steve and his family at the hospital last night. And I reassured them that the entire country is pulling for them, praying for them, and that we are here for them every single step of the way," he said.

"America's hearts - and we mean this in the truest sense - sends its love. We got a lot of hearts in this country, great hearts, and they're all sending their love and support to the Scalise family," said the US president.

"It's been much more difficult than people even thought at the time. He is in some trouble, but he's a great fighter and he's going to be OK, we hope," Trump said.

Indian-American Congressman Ami Bera said he is saddened and horrified by the shooting and his thoughts and prayers are with the congressional community impacted.

"Needless to say there is no justification for this attack on our public servants," he said.

"Additionally we owe a great deal of gratitude to the brave actions of the Capitol Police and the first responders that assisted with the situation. Their swift and selfness actions should serve as a reminder of what these men and women do every day in keeping us safe," Bera said in a statement.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Thu, June 15 2017. 23:13 IST