Arizona Rep. Giffords Shot; Condition Unclear
by NPR Staff
January 8, 2011
Rep. Gabrielle Giffords was shot in the head by a gunman at a public event in Tucson on Saturday. There are conflicting reports about whether she was killed.
The Pima County, Ariz., sheriff's office told member station KJZZ the 40-year-old Democrat was killed. A hospital spokeswoman said Giffords was in critical condition and undergoing surgery.
At least eight other people, including members of her staff, were injured. There also were conflicting reports on the number of deaths at the scene, but President Obama, in a statement, said "we know that some have passed away" and that Giffords was "gravely wounded."
Giffords, who was re-elected to a third term in November, was hosting a "Congress on Your Corner" event at a Safeway in northwest Tucson when a gunman ran up and started shooting, according to Peter Michaels, news director of Arizona Public Media.
The suspect fired indiscriminately from about four feet away, Michaels said. A congressional official told The Associated Press on condition of anonymity that the gunman was using an automatic weapon.
The suspect ran off and was tackled by a bystander. He was taken into custody. Witnesses described him as in his late teens or early 20s. Federal, state and local law enforcement authorities in Arizona are investigating the shooting.
The congresswoman was transported to University Medical Center in Tucson.
Giffords was first elected to represent Arizona's 8th District in 2006. The "Congress on Your Corner" events, which she holds regularly, allow constituents to present their concerns directly to her.
Giffords' Tucson office was one of three damaged last March by vandals who targeted Democrats in advance of the U.S. House vote on the controversial health care legislation. A glass panel at her office was shattered, and at the time her staff said that it appeared the window had been damaged by a pellet gun.
About Gabrielle Giffords
* Born: Jun 8, 1970, in Tucson
* Family: Married to Mark Kelly, a Navy pilot and astronaut with NASA; two children
* Home: Tucson, Arizona
* Religion: Jewish
* U.S. House Representative, elected 2006
* State Senator, Arizona 2002-05
* State Representative, Arizona 2000-02
* CEO El Campo Tire 1997-00
* Price Waterhouse Coopers 1996-97
* Scripps College, BA 1993
* Cornell Univ, MS 1996
* Fulbright Scholar in Mexico, 1996
House Speaker John Boehner condemned the attack.
"An attack on one who serves is an attack on all who serve," he said in a statement. "Acts and threats of violence against public officials have no place in our society."
Her fellow Arizona congressman, Republican Jeff Flake, reached Saturday on his way to the hospital recalled that he had last spoken with Giffords on the House floor during this week's swearing-in ceremony.
"We have a fairly small delegation and we've met often," he said of Giffords, who in November beat back a tough challenge from a Tea Party-endorsed opponent.
"She got re-elected because she's tenacious," Flake said. "There was a very strong headwind against all Democrats and people did not expect her to come back to Congress.
"But she was tireless," he said. "Others may have held back after things happen — like the damage to her office. She was fearless."
Flake said emotions have been running high in Arizona over issues, including immigration.
"That's obviously an issue that is a very passionate one for a lot of people," he said.
In a statement released by his office, House Speaker John Boehner said he was "horrified by the senseless attack on Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords and members of her staff. An attack on one who serves is an attack on all who serve....this is a sad day for our country."
NPR's Liz Halloran contributed to this report.
What is known, is that she was shot in the head and is alive. Others (eight?) were also injured, including a child, who was killed in the same incident. Details are confused. The gunman was captured. As soon as I can find out anything, I will add to it.
Addendum, a Federal judge (GOP Bush appointee) was also killed at this event,
Dem AZ Congresswoman Giffords and Others Shot Outside Safeway
By Big Tent Democrat, Section Other Politics
Posted on Sat Jan 08, 2011 at 12:30:13 PM EST
Tags: Gabriella Giffords (all tags)
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Update 2:04 pm: Press Conference: University Hospital spokesman: Ten patients were brought in to the hospital, one, a 9 year old child, died. 5 are in critical conditi