Democratic congresswoman shot at point-blank range in Arizona
January 8, 2011
“The attacks on Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords, members of her staff, and others are absolutely appalling. This event is horrific and acts of such violence cannot be tolerated in our society. Judy and I will be praying for Gabrielle, her family, her staff, those who were injured and their families.”
Meanwhile, Arizona authorities are searching for “a person of interest” who might have been at the shopping center with alleged shooter Jared Lee Loughner.
UPDATE: The shooter of U.S. Representative Gabrielle Giffords has been identified as Jared Lee Loughner, 22, of Tucson.
Loughner was tackled by one of Giffords’ aides as he tried to flee the scene after the shooting.
Another one of Giffords’ aides is confirmed to be dead along with four others. The gunman shot 18 people.
A surgeon has been quoted as being “very optimistic” about Giffords’ chance for surviving.
ORIGINAL POST: Multiple media reports confirm that a Democratic congresswoman was shot in the head at point blank range Saturday morning while hosting a meet-the-public event in Tucson. [LA Times]
U.S. Representative Gabrielle Giffords (D-AZ), 40, a three-term congresswoman, was airlifted to a local hospital shortly after the shooting at a Safeway market.
“She is currently in surgery. She’s alive,” University Medical Center spokeswoman Darci Slaten said. Slaten added that nine other shooting victims were being treated at the hospital.
Fox News reported that between 12 and 15 people were shot.
Giffords was hosting a “Congress on Your Corner” event — public gatherings to give her constituents a chance to talk directly with her — when attacked from about four feet away, NPR said.
NPR initially reported that Giffords had died, but quickly retracted that information.
The report said the suspect tried to run away but was tackled by a bystander and was in police custody.
Giffords is married to astronaut Mark Kelly