In a letter to fellow congressional members Saturday night, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi wrote that her husband is recovering after he was violently attacked in the couple’s San Francisco home in the early morning hours Friday.
The House speaker wrote that 82-year-old Paul Pelosi’s “condition continues to improve.”
“Our children, our grandchildren and I are heartbroken and traumatized by the life-threatening attack on our Pop,” she wrote. “We are grateful for the quick response of law enforcement and emergency services, and for the life-saving medical care he is receiving.”
Authorities said a man broke into the Pelosi home and attacked Paul Pelosi with a hammer. The suspect allegedly shouted, “Where is Nancy? Where is Nancy,” before committing the assault, according to a source briefed on the incident.
Later Friday, Paul Pelosi “underwent successful surgery to repair a skull fracture and serious injuries to his right arm and hands” from the attack, according to a statement from the speaker’s office.
“Please know that the outpouring of prayers and warm wishes from so many in the Congress is a comfort to our family and is helping Paul make progress with his recovery,” Nancy Pelosi wrote in her letter.
The suspect, 42-year-old David Wayne Depape, from nearby Berkely, forced his way into the home through a rear door at around 2 a.m. Friday, police said. Nancy Pelosi was in Washington, D.C., during the attack.
Police wouldn’t comment on a motive, but said this was “not a random act,” and that it was targeted.
A senior federal law enforcement official told CBS News that Paul Pelosi managed to call 911 during the home invasion and leave the line open. The dispatcher asked what was wrong and did not get a response, but did hear someone apparently being threatened. The dispatcher, who did not know whose house it was, decided to send emergency services as someone’s life seemed to be in danger, according to the official.
San Francisco Police Chief William Scott Friday commended the 911 dispatcher “for her intuition and quick-thinking,” calling her actions “lifesaving.”
“Her actions, in my opinion, resulted in both a higher-priority dispatch, and a faster police response,” Scott said.
Scott said that responding officers witnessed the suspect attacking Paul Pelosi with a hammer. Scott told reporters that the officers knocked on the front door, and it was “opened by someone inside” to reveal Paul Pelosi and the suspect, just inside the home’s entryway, struggling over control of a hammer.
After officers gave commands to both men to drop the hammer, the suspect pulled it from Pelosi’s grip and “violently attacked him” with it, Scott said.
At that point, officers entered the home, tackled the suspect, seized the hammer and arrested him, Scott said.
The suspect will be charged with attempted homicide, assault with a deadly weapon, elder abuse, burglary and several additional felonies, according to authorities.
A CBS News review of suspected social media posts by DePape shows him spreading conspiracy theories about Holocaust denial, pedophiles in the government, and claims that Democratic officials run child sex rings.
The attack comes less than two weeks before the midterm elections. President Biden, speaking at a Democratic party fundraiser in Pennsylvania Friday night, described it as “despicable.”
“There’s too much violence, political violence, too much hatred, too much vitriol,” Mr. Biden said.
— Rebecca Kaplan and Christina Ruffini contributed reporting