MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — After months of intense rehab, Louisiana Rep. Steve Scalise returned to work at Capitol Hill.
Fellow lawmakers erupted into applause watching Scalise walk into the House chambers on his own.
A gunman opened fire at Republicans back in June as they practiced for a charity baseball game in Virginia.
The bullets shattered his femur and damaged his hip and pelvis.
This morning, he thanked the officers who saved his life and told his colleagues the incident strengthened his faith in others.
“While some people might focus on a tragic event and an evil act, to me, all I remember are the thousands of acts of kindness, and love and warmth that came out of this and kept me going through all of it,” Scalise said, “and again, just reemphasize just how wonderful most people are and how much compassion is out there.”
Minnesota Rep. Erik Paulsen sat right behind Scalise. The men have been roommates with two other members of Congress since 2008.
Paulsen says they got a surprise call from Scalise last night.
“He called us at home last night and said, ‘Hey, you cant tell anyone but I am going to be back on the House floor tomorrow and do my first vote after three months and 14 days.’ So we knew last night but we had to keep it a secret, which is why it was hard to sleep last night,” Paulsen said.
Paulsen celebrated the return with a picture of Scalise back at work. He said it was especially moving to see his friend walking for the first time since the shooting.
“We have seen him in a wheelchair, we have seen him come out of surgery, and now just seeing him looking back to normal and be on the mend, it was emotional. There were a few tears, to be sure.”
Scalise and his wife will talk recount the terrifying shooting and his grueling recovery with Norah O’Donnell on “60 Minutes” this Sunday.