Donald Trump, Melania visit wounded Congressman Steve Scalise in hospital

The MedStar Washington Hospital Center said Mr Scalise had suffered fractured bones, internal organ injuries and severe bleeding after he was shot in the left hip.

"He is grateful for the courageous actions of U.S. Capitol Police, first responders, and colleagues", a statement from the office said.

Police chief of the suburban Alexandria County said though the suspect, identified as James T. Hodgkinson, a 66-year-old man from IL, was arrested, the motive had not been ascertained.

According to his Facebook page, Hodgkinson was a fervent supporter of Sanders, the feisty independent who battled Hillary Clinton for the Democratic presidential nomination past year. He was known to be highly critical of President Trump and other Republicans on social media, and had reportedly traveled to Washington to protest against the administration.

Shimkus has visited Scalise in the hospital, but didn't stay long because he didn't want to be "in the way". Local Democratic congressmen said they occasionally get threats but not more than usual.

The assailant, who had nursed grievances against Mr Trump and the Republican Party, fought a gun battle with police before he was shot and later died.

The shooting happened shortly after 7 a.m., with lawmakers practicing their hitting and fielding a day before the annual charity congressional baseball game pitting Republicans against Democrats.

Republicans and Democrats in Congress responded in unifying condemnation of the attack and the attacker himself.

The gunman, identified by a senior U.S. official as James Hodgkinson from the St. Louis suburb of Belleville, Illinois, died of his injuries.

Trump described Scalise as a "very good friend" and "patriot", telling him: "America is praying for you and America is praying for all of the victims of this awful shooting".

"My thoughts and prayers remain with Majority Whip Scalise and all those injured during today's horrific shooting", he said in a statement.

Identifying the officers as David Bailey and Crystal Griner, House Speaker Paul Ryan and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi offered their thanks to the pair and the entire Capitol Police.

They also met the doctors treating Scalise, including Ira Rabin, vice-president for medical operations of the hospital and talked to Scalise's wife Jennifer, White House press secretary Sean Spicer told reporters.

President Donald Trump said in a statement: "The Vice-President [Mike Pence] and I are aware of the shooting incident in Virginia and are monitoring developments closely". "But he's a great fighter, and he's going to be okay, we hope".

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