Massacre in Arizona: Gunman Shoots Congresswoman, Others Dead, Wounded
January 8, 2011
Rep. Giffords expected to recover
(ChattahBox Political News)—This is a horrible shocking story. Details are still scant, but NPR is reporting that a gunman shot Rep. Gabrielle Giffords (D-AZ) and six other people attending an official event in Tucson this morning. A number of other people have been injured.
“Rep. Gabrielle Giffords and six others died after a gunman opened fire at a public event on Saturday, the Pima County, Ariz., sheriff’s office confirms.”
“The 40-year-old Democrat, who was re-elected to her 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.”
“At least three other people, including members of her staff, were injured. Giffords was transported to University Medical Center in Tucson.”
“Giffords was talking to a couple when the suspect ran up and fired indiscriminately from about four feet away, Michaels said.”
The gunman is in police custody. Bystanders reportedly tackled the gunman, who is described as a man in his late teens or early 20s.
More details to come. The deaths have not yet been confirmed.
(Update): There are conflicting reports on Congresswoman Giffords’ death. Some reports indicate she is alive and in surgery.
“National Public Radio quoted the Pima County Sheriff’s Department as saying Congresswoman Giffords and five other people were killed in the shooting. However, Reuters quotes a hospital spokeswoman who said the congresswoman is alive and in surgery.”
“Members of Gifford’s congressional staff also were reported to have been shot.”
(Further Update): NPR has now retracted its report of Giffords’ death, as well as the six other deaths.
“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. At least nine other people, including members of her staff, were injured.”
(Further Update): But a just released statement from President Obama, says some of the shooting victims have died:
‘“This morning, in an unspeakable tragedy, a number of Americans were shot in Tuscon, 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.”’
Update 5:30 PM EST: Federal law enforcement sources said that John M. Roll, the senior U.S. District judge in Arizona, was shot and killed in the incident. Five others including a nine-year-old child had died, and a total of 18 people were injured according to the Washington Post. The surgeon who operated on Rep. Gabrielle Giffords said he was “optimistic” she would recover from being shot in the head. The bullet that struck her head reportedly passed through and did not lodge in her brain. The gunmen has been identified as 20-something named Jared Laughner.