Rep. Steve Scalise (R-La.) remains hospitalized in critical condition, facing numerous surgeries after being shot by James T. Hodgkinson at a GOP congressional baseball practice near D.C. Wednesday.
Scalise faces a tough road ahead after a rifle round entered his left hip and traveled into his abdomen, rupturing internal organs as it went. Doctors says they’re encouraged by his recent improvement Friday but acknowledge that he was close to death when he first arrived at the MedStar Washington Hospital Center, according to ABC News.
Now ABC has learned what types of weapons Hodgkinson — who was killed in a shootout with police — used to wound Scalise, two Capitol Hill police officers, a congressional aide, and a lobbyist. They posted the following press release on Twitter, indicating that the weapons shown look similar to the ones Hodgkinson wielded:
The handgun pictured looks like a fairly standard 9mm semi-automatic pistol. They’re quick to shoot and quick to reload with pre-loaded magazines for someone who is familiar with their operation.
The rifle pictured appears to be a SKS semi-automatic carbine, which matches the investigator’s description of it as a “7.62mm caliber rifle.”
Entering service in 1945, the Soviet-made rifle is still used regularly today and is considered the precursor to the AK-47, according to CNN Money. Its standard 10-round clip can be can be quickly swapped out for another, and a 40-round clip can be added. Either setup may explain the sustained gunfire from Hodgkinson for over two minutes.
The SKS rifle saw a lot of service by U.S. soldiers in the Vietnam and Korean wars and can purchased today typically between $400 and $500. The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives says Hodgkinson purchased it legally.
Investigators are still determining how many rounds were fired by Hodgkinson and the police. Please continue to pray for healing for the victims and comfort for their families.