US Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords Shot In Arizona

(HUFFINGTONPOST)

Rep. Gabrielle Giffords of Arizona was shot in the head Saturday and an unknown number of others were wounded when an assailant opened fire in an area where the lawmaker was meeting with constituents, officials said.

There were varying accounts on Giffords' condition, but a hospital spokesman said the Democrat was in critical condition. An aide to the Democrat was killed. An unknown number of others was injured, officials officials said, including additional aides to the lawmaker.

Congressional officials said one of the victims died soon after the attack, and others were taken to a nearby hospital. The officials said the wounded included some of Gifford's aides who were with her at the time.

Six people were killed and 12 others wounded -- including U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords -- in a shooting outside a Tucson, Arizona, grocery store where the congresswoman was holding a constituent meeting, police said.

The suspect in the shooting was in custody, according to U.S. Capitol Police, who did not identify the alleged gunman.

Darci Slaten, a spokeswoman for University Medical Center in Tucson, said Giffords, 40, was undergoing surgery Saturday afternoon for a gunshot wound to the head.

Local law enforcement officials have not provided a public accounting of the injuries, but President Obama called the shooting an "unspeakable tragedy," and said "some have passed away," according to a statement from the White House. He said Giffords was "gravely wounded."

A federal judge from Arizona was among the victims, though the judge's condition was unknown, a law enforcement source told CNN.

The shooting happened shortly after 10 a.m. MST at a Safeway grocery store, Pima County Sheriff's Department spokesman Jason Ogan said.

Giffords, 40, was holding a constituent meeting at the store when the shooting occurred, according to a schedule posted on her website.

An FBI spokesman said the agency was sending agents to the scene, and two senior Obama administration officials said the White House is monitoring the situation. They said they believed that a congressional staffer may have been killed.

Pictures from the scene showed a Giffords banner hanging from the storefront.

At least two victims with gunshot wounds were transported at Northwest Medical Center, according to spokesman Richard Parker.

The motive for the shooting is unclear, Ogan said.

"We're just trying to sort this out right now," he said.

An employee of a nearby business, Jason Pekau, told CNN that he did not see the shooting, but heard "15 to 20 gunshots."

Giffords, a Democrat, was first elected in 2006. She has served as chairwoman of the House Space and Aeronautics Subcommittee and also holds seats on the House Science and Technology and Armed Services committees.

She won her third term in a closely contested race against a Tea Party-sponsored candidate and was one of three Democratic legislators who reported vandalism at their offices following the March vote on health care reform.

She is married to Navy Capt. Mark Kelly, a NASA astronaut who is scheduled to lead a space shuttle mission to the International Space Station.

Obama said information about the shooting was continuing to flow in.

"We do not yet have all the answers," he said. What we do know is that such a senseless and terrible act of violence has no place in a free society."

House Speaker John Boehner said he was "horrified" by the shooting.

"An attack on one who serves is an attack on all who serve," he said. "Acts and threats of violence against public officials have no place in our society."

Jared Laughner, Gabrielle Giffords Shooter (Info)

Jared Laughner, the man who shot Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords (D-Ariz.), was described by eyewitnesses as a young white man who looked like a "fringe character."

Laughner shot Giffords and 12 others at a public event at a Safeway grocery store in Tucscon. He reportedly shot the congresswoman "point blank" in the head and may have come from inside the store. After shooting Giffords, he allegedly fired 20-30 rounds and hit "a number of people," including a child. He attempted to flee after running out of ammunition and was tackled by one of Giffords' staffers.

Eyewitnesses have described Laughner as "young, mid-to-late 20s, white, clean-shaven with short hair and wearing dark clothing."

He was arrested upon arrival of the sheriff's department.

 

Jared Lee Loughner has been identified as the man suspected of shooting Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords (D-Ariz.).

Loughner was described by eyewitnesses at the Arizona shooting as a young white man who looked like a "fringe character," in his mid-to-late 20s, clean-shaven with short hair and wearing dark clothing.

Loughner shot Giffords and some 12 others at a public event at a Safeway grocery store in Tucscon. He reportedly shot the congresswoman "point blank" in the head and may have come from inside the store. He attempted to flee after running out of ammunition and was tackled by one of Giffords' staffers.

A MySpace page belonging to a "Jared Lee Loughner," age 22, of Tucson, was taken down. A YouTube account also exists in his name.

Here's what was listed on his MySpace page before it was removed:

Schools:I attended school: Thornydale elementary,Tortolita Middle School, Mountain View Highschool, Northwest Aztec Middle College, and Pima Community College.
Interests:My favorite interest was reading, and I studied grammar. Conscience dreams were a great study in college!
Movies:(*My idiom: I could coin the moment!*)
Music:Pass me the strings!
Books:I had favorite books: Animal Farm, Brave New World, The Wizard Of OZ, Aesop Fables, The Odyssey, Alice Adventures Into Wonderland, Fahrenheit 451, Peter Pan, To Kill A Mockingbird, We The Living, Phantom Toll Booth, One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest, Pulp,Through The Looking Glass, The Communist Manifesto, Siddhartha, The Old Man And The Sea, Gulliver's Travels, Mein Kampf, The Republic, and Meno.

Surgeon 'Very Optimistic' About Giffords, One Dead, Five Critical

A surgeon is "very optimistic" about Rep. Giffords. He adds that she was shot in the head "through and through."

"We cannot tell what kind of recovery but I'm about as optimistic as it can get in this situation."

He also says that there are 10 patients from the shooting, one has died, five are in critical condition. The dead patient was a child -- the only one that came to the hospital.

2nd Person Arrested?

"Police arrest man near Thornydale and Magee Roads who is suspected of being connected to the shooting of Giffords and others. A third man is being sought."

'Senseless Attack'

The Senate Republican leader has issued the following statement:

“This senseless attack today in Tucson is a national tragedy, and all America mourns those who lost their lives in the very act of public service. I join the entire Congress in condemning this horrifying act of violence, and on behalf of the entire Senate family, Elaine and I extend our deepest expressions of sympathy and heartfelt prayers to Rep. Giffords and the families of those who have been killed or injured. The U.S. Capitol Police are joining local, state and federal officials in this investigation. We appreciate their quick response and stand ready to assist in their efforts."

Federal Judge Dead, Congresswoman Among 12 Wounded In Shooting

A federal judge was killed and a congresswoman gravely wounded Saturday in a shooting outside of a Tucson, Arizona, grocery store, according to police and government officials.

In all, six people died and 12 were wounded in the shooting, including U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, D-Arizona, according to Rick Kastigar, bureau chief for the Pima County Sheriff's Department.

President Barack Obama later said Chief Judge John Roll of the U.S. District Court for Arizona was among the dead.

A 9-year-old girl also died in the attack, according to authorities. The child, whose identity had not been released, was pronounced dead at a hospital.

An Arizona law enforcement source and a federal law enforcement source identified the suspect as Jared Lee Loughner. Other law enforcement sources put his age at 22. U.S. Capitol Police said the suspect was in custody.

Police recovered a 9mm Glock handgun, according to senior law enforcement sources.

Dr. Peter Rhee of University Medical Center in Tucson, said Giffords, 40, had undergone surgery for a single gunshot to the head that passed through her brain. Giffords was among five patients listed in critical condition, Rhee said.

At least two victims with gunshot wounds were transported to another hospital, Northwest Medical Center, according to spokesman Richard Parker.

Kastigar declined to comment on a possible motive for the attack. Police have set a news conference to discuss developments in the case for 6 p.m. (8 p.m. ET).

Tucson police Chief Roberto Villasenor said his department had secured the homes and offices of some unnamed federal officials as a "precautionary measure."

Although U.S. Capitol Police said there was no evidence of a broader threat involving federal officials, the agency said it had advised other members of Congress to take "reasonable and prudent precautions regarding their personal safety and security," the agency said in a statement.

Obama said he had directed FBI Director Robert Mueller to travel to Arizona to support the investigation. An FBI spokesman said the agency was sending agents to the scene,

Rhee, in a brief news conference at the hospital, said that Giffords had been moved to intensive care from surgery and said he was "very optimistic" about her recovery.

"I'm about as optimistic as it can get in this situation," he said.

He said the next 24 hours will be key for determining the extent of her recovery.

Giffords, a Democrat, was first elected in 2006. She has served as chairwoman of the House Space and Aeronautics Subcommittee and also holds seats on the House Science and Technology and Armed Services committees.

She won her third term in a closely contested race against a Tea Party-sponsored candidate and was one of three Democratic legislators who reported vandalism at their offices following the March vote on health care reform.

She is married to Navy Capt. Mark Kelly, a NASA astronaut who is scheduled to lead a space shuttle mission to the International Space Station.

Roll was a 1991 Bush appointee to the federal bench. The chief judge for the U.S. District Court for Arizona, he was originally from Pennsylvania.

Colleagues and admirers of Giffords and Roll reacted quickly to the shooting.

Sen. John McCain, R-Arizona, said the attack was committed by a "wicked person who has no sense of justice or compassion."

"Whoever did this, whatever their reason, they are a disgrace to Arizona, this country and the human race, and they deserve and will receive the contempt of all decent people and the strongest punishment of the law," he said.

Obama called the attack an "unspeakable tragedy."

"We do not yet have all the answers," he said. What we do know is that such a senseless and terrible act of violence has no place in a free society."

House Speaker John Boehner said he was "horrified" by the shooting.

"An attack on one who serves is an attack on all who serve," he said. "Acts and threats of violence against public officials have no place in our society."

Chief Justice of the United States John Roberts issued a statement decrying the shootings and the loss of Roll, whom he called a "wise jurist who selflessly served Arizona and the nation with great distinction."

"Chief Judge Roll's death is a somber reminder of the rule of law and the sacrifices of those who work to secure it," Roberts said.

Rep. Chellie Pingree, D-Maine, said an incident like this could have a chilling effect on the frequent weekend listening post sessions many members of Congress have with their constituents.

"It does give you pause," Pingree said.

Sarah Palin on Arizona Tragedy:

http://www.facebook.com/note.php?note_id=485459383434

 





Source: (cnn) (huffingtonpost)

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