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Shot congressman Steve Scalise off the critical list

Top Republican politician Steve Scalise's condition has been upgraded from critical to serious after he was gunned down at a party baseball practice outside Washington.

Medstar Washington Hospital Centre released the update on behalf of the Scalise family.

The House of Representatives majority whip underwent another operation on Saturday, and the hospital said he was more responsive and speaking with his family.

Louisiana member Mr Scalise, 51, was one of five people shot when gunman James Hodgkinson opened fire as the Republican team practised for a charity game against Democrats in Alexandria, Virginia, on Wednesday .

He has had several operations since the shooting.

Hodgkinson, from Illinois, who had lashed out against US president Donald Trump and other Republicans over social media, was killed by Mr Scalise's security detail and other police officers.

He had with him a piece of paper with doodles and the names of three politicians, according to a person familiar with the case.

The source said investigators were not sure of the significance of the names and did not know if it was a list of people Hodgkinson was targeting.

Mr Scalise's trauma surgeon said on Friday he could hope to make an "excellent recovery", even he arrived at the hospital at imminent risk of death.

Dr Jack Sava described how a bullet from an assault rifle entered Mr Scalise's hip and went through his pelvis, shattering blood vessels, bones and internal organs.

Mr Scalise was airlifted to hospital in shock, with intense internal bleeding, Dr Sava said.

The surgeon said there were hundreds of bullet fragments in Mr Scalise's body, but "we have no intention to try and remove all the bullet fragments at this point".

But he added: "We fully expect him to be able to walk," and "hopefully run".

"I feel a lot more confident and a lot more optimistic than I did two, three days ago," Dr Sava said.

"I think that his risk of death right now is substantially lower than when he came in ... he was as critical as you can be when he came in."

Two Capitol Police officers, David Bailey and Crystal Griner, and House Republican aide Zack Barth, were also injured in the shooting.

Ms Griner remains in hospitali at MedStar after being shot in the ankle and Mr B ailey was spotted on Friday in the Capitol, on crutches and out of uniform, accepting congratulations from fellow officers.

Lobbyist Matt Mika, who was shot several times and critically wounded, has undergone additional surgery and doctors expect a full recovery, his family said.

AP

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