(NPR) — Rep. Gabrielle Giffords was shot in the head by a gunman at a public event 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.
Giffords, 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.
Giffords was talking to a couple when the suspect ran up and fired indiscriminately from about four feet away, Michaels said.
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.
Update: Giffords alive . . . in surgery
(Reuters) — Representative Gabrielle Giffords was alive but in surgery at a hospital on Saturday after a shooting that also injured at least nine other people, a hospital spokeswoman said.
An earlier report from National Public Radio said Giffords had died.
“She is currently in surgery. She’s alive,” University Medical Center spokeswoman Darci Slaten told Reuters.
Update: Report from the University Medical Center press conference: 10 patients were admitted, A nine-year old child has been killed, 5 are in critical condition, 1 is currently in surgery and the remainder are in stable condition. Rep. Giffords is out of surgery, in critical condition but spokesman was “very optimistic” about her recovery.
Update: Rep Gifford’s father, Spencer Giffords: The whole Tea Party was her enemy.
Update: Confirmed that Federal judge John M. Roll has also died.
Update: Corrected spelling of suspect’s name: Loughner.
Update: Is this a photo of the suspect at the Tucson Festival of Books?
Update: HT to WZ commenter John Doe for this — is this Jared Loughner’s youtube channel? Are these Jared Loughner’s final thoughts? His favorite video is of a flag burning. WACK. Mein Kampf and Communist Manifesto are among the suspect’s favorite books. Important to note that Rep. Gabrielle Giffords was Arizona’s first Jewish congresswoman.
Some prominent liberal bloggers wasted little time before politicizing the horrific and tragic shooting of a congresswoman in Arizona on Saturday.
Almost immediately after the nation learned of the shooting of Arizona Democratic Rep. Gabrielle Giffords and several others (including a federal judge), a few prominent liberal web writers sought to blame Sarah Palin and other conservatives for the action.
Linking to a map of U.S. House districts that Sarah Palin’s pac wanted to “target” during the 2010 mid-term elections — which sadly included crosshairs over Rep. Giffords’ district (among others) — DailyKos founder Markos Moulitsas Tweeted, “Mission accomplished, Sarah Palin.”
The liberal blog Firedog Lake also went there.
(Palin has deleted the image from her website, and issued a short statement on the shooting, writing on her Facebook page: “My sincere condolences are offered to the family of Rep. Gabrielle Giffords and the other victims of today’s tragic shooting in Arizona. On behalf of Todd and my family, we all pray for the victims and their families, and for peace and justice.”
Liberal blogger Matthew Yglesias Tweeted out several other examples of “violent rhetoric,” including Rep. Michele Bachman saying, “I want people in Minnesota armed and dangerous” to block climate change legislation.
Update: Just confirmed — Giffords’ aide also among those killed.
It has been reported that Mark Kelly was traveling by private jet and expected to arrive in Tucson at 3:00pm. A family friend, who owns the jet has been quoted as saying “We have a positive outlook. We think she’s going to pull through.”
Gabrielle Giffords married Mark Kelly back in November of 2007. 46 year old, Kelly has flown a total of three shuttle missions for NASA. his first flight in space was as the pilot for STS-108 Endeavour December 5–17, 2001. He flew again as the pilot of STS-121 Discovery July 4-17, 2006. Then went on to serve as commander of STS-124 Discovery May 31 to June 14, 2008. Kelly’s next mission is scheduled for launch on April 1, 2011.
Update: Is this his Daily Kos page? Markos (who has blamed the shooting on Palin) flushed it down the memory hole.
Update: HT: DavidR.
Check out Hill Buzz for more on the Daily Kos post. If this is indeed the shooter’s post, Markos is gonna be in a world of shit. Even if it isn’t, how can he blame Sarah Palin when his own readers post stuff like this?
Update: One of his friends has been Tweeting about him. She says he is a lefty, but more importantly, he’s friggen nuts. It’s sad lefties had to start blaming this is on Palin/Tea Party and bring it to this level. The guy is mentally disturbed. End of story.
The gunman, wearing a beanie and baggy clothes, approached congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords’ meet-and-greet Saturday wanting to speak with her immediately, a witnesses says.
Alex Villec, a 19-year-old volunteer, organized the line of constituents with a young man approached the line outside Safeway.
He said “Can I talk to the congresswoman?”, or something to that effect, Villec said. He told the man to stand at the back of a line to wait for about 20 minutes. He went to the back of the line,” Villec said, “and didn’t seem too interested in what I had to say.”
Minutes later, the man left the back of the line and walked toward Giffords who was with 20 to 25 constituents, employees and volunteers.
“He was intent,” Villec said. “He was intent when he came back — a pretty stone cold glance and glare.”
“I didn’t see his gun, but it was clear who he was going for. He was going for the congresswoman,” Villec said.
“A few staff members were caught in the crossfire . . . . His goal was the congresswoman.”
The shooter walked past Villec and to his left, past tables and toward Gifford. He raised his hand. Villec heard gunshots before ducking behind a pillar and later running across the Safeway parking lot to a bank for safety.
“It was bedlam,” he said. “People were getting down on the ground. They were screaming. I just did what I could to keep myself protected.”
Villec worked on Giffords’ 2008 campaign and interned twice in the past year for her, both in Tucson and in Washington, D.C. The Catalina Foothills High School graduate volunteered Saturday in part to see old friends. He was set to return to Georgetown University on Sunday.
The weapon “sounded like a handgun.” He did not hear the shooter speak while firing; from behind a pillar, Villec heard someone cry, “Get down.” Villec did not see two men tackle the gunman, though spoke with one of the men afterward. That tackler, he said, was next in line to greet Giffords.
“It’s heroic,” Villec said.” I’m at a loss for words to describe the courage it takes to do a thing like that.”
We can safely assume the Kos poster wasn’t him. Still unbelievably hypocritical of Markos Moulitsas to blame this on Palin when his own website has posts like BoyBlue’s on it.
Update: Here’s a screenshot of his now-deleted MySpace page (HT: Zero Hedge)
Update: Jane Fonda’s cunning stunt — blaming Sarah Palin, “Glen” Beck and the Tea party for the shooting of “Progressive” US Representative Giffords. (Note to Jane: Rep. Giffords is a blue dog Dem.)