NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Congressman Steve Scalise returned to the House floor Thursday to a standing ovation after he was wounded three months ago when a gunman opened fire at a Republican baseball practice.
All the members of the House stood and applauded as the Louisiana Republican relied on crutches to walk.
Scalise was finally able to thank his colleagues and those who saved him, including two Capitol Police officers, David Bailey and Crystal Griner.
“Crystal and David were assigned to my security detail that morning, if they didn’t act so quickly, and even after being shot both themselves, continued to engage the shooter and ultimately got him down which not only saved my life, but saved the life of a lot of people that are here in this chamber today,” Scalise said. “Crystal couldn’t be with us today, but David Bailey is with us. David Bailey, you are my hero, you saved my life. Thank you so much.”
Scalise and four other people were injured on June 14 when a gunman opened fire as the Republican team practiced in Alexandria, Virginia.
U.S. Capitol Police and other officers returned fire and killed the gunman. The rifle-wielding attacker had grievances against President Donald Trump and the GOP.
On Thursday, there was no partisanship.
“So many others of you, both Republican and Democrat reached out in ways that I can’t express the gratitude and how much it means to me, Jennifer and our whole family,” Scalise said.
The 51-year-old congressman was struck in the hip and the bullets tore into blood vessels, bones and internal organs.
It’s taken three months to arrive at this point today.
“Just seeing the faces of all you it just means more to me than you can imagine,” Scalise said.
This was the House Majority Whip’s first public appearance since the shooting and he plans on taking part in congressional voting Thursday.
Before returning to the Hill, Scalise sat down with Norah O’Donnell for an interview that will air on “60 Minutes” this Sunday at 7:30 p.m. on CBS2.
“My femur was shattered, the hip and pelvis had serious damage where the bullet went through,” he told O’Donnell. “They did a phenomenal job of rebuilding Humpty Dumpty.”
Earlier in the day, O’Donnell shared photos of Scalise and his emotional reunion with colleague House Speaker Paul Ryan. The 51-year-old sent his own tweet, showing a picture of himself standing at the Capitol with the message, “I’m back.”
Scalise has undergone several surgeries and intense rehabilitation, and he still has a long way to go in his recovery. He said the power of prayer has helped him through.