A gunman shot the politician at an event in Tuscon this morning, wounding at least 12 more.
In a truly horrible story, Arizona congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords is in critical condition after a gunman shot her at point blank range as she hosted an event in Tuscon, Ariz. NPR reports, “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.”
Gabrielle had just been sworn in for her third term as a representative for the state and was hosting the event, as she often does, for “constituents to present their concerns directly to her.”
Gawker spoke to someone on the scene who said, “The event was very informal: Gifford had set up a table outside the Safeway and about 20-30 people were gathered to talk to her. The gunman, who may have come from inside the Safeway, walked up and shot Gifford in the head first, ‘point blank’.”
Of the shooter they say, “The gunman was young, mid-to-late 20s(he has now been identified as 22-year-old Jared Loughner), white, clean-shaven with short hair and wearing dark clothing and said nothing during the shooting or while being held down, although he struggled at first. He was ‘not particularly well-dressed’; he didn’t look like a businessman, but more of a ‘fringe character’.”
President Obama said in a statement, “This morning, in an unspeakable tragedy, a number of Americans were shot in Tucson, Arizona, at a constituent meeting with Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords. And while we are continuing to receive information, we know that some have passed away, and that Representative Giffords is gravely wounded. We do not yet have all the answers. What we do know is that such a senseless and terrible act of violence has no place in a free society. I ask all Americans to join me and Michelle in keeping Representative Giffords, the victims of this tragedy, and their families in our prayers.”
Speaker of the House John Boehner issued the following statement, “I am 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. Acts and threats of violence against public officials have no place in our society. Our prayers are with Congresswoman Giffords, her staff, all who were injured, and their families. This is a sad day for our country.”
Gabrielle is married to astronaut Mike Kelly and has two children.
It is unknown if there were political motivations behind the shooting at this time, Gabrielle was a Democrat who was on Sarah Palin’s “target list” for her support of the health care reform bill. Sarah’s Facebook page at the time carried an actual map of the USA with gun marks on the locations of the 20 politicans she was “targeting.”