Congresswoman Among Those Shot In Arizona

A gunman shot and injured several people, including Democratic Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords, this morning at a Safeway supermarket in Tuscon. According to The Tuscon Citizen, 40-year-old Giffords, who was holding an event at the store, was shot in the head at close range.

NPR reports:

Gg U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords of Arizona was shot outside a grocery store in Tucson while holding a public event, Arizona Public Media reported Saturday. The Democrat, who was re-elected to her third term in November, was hosting a "Congress on Your Corner" event at the Safeway in northwest Tucson when a gunman ran up and started shooting, according to Peter Michaels, news director of Arizona Public Media.

At least five other people, including members of her staff, were hurt. Giffords was transported to University Medical Center in Tucson. Her condition was not immediately known. Giffords was talking to a couple when the suspect ran up firing indiscriminately and then ran off, Michaels said. According to other witnesses, he was tackled by a bystander and taken into custody.

CNN is reporting that at least 12 people have been wounded.

Last year, Politico reported that the Congresswoman's office was vandalised, post-health care vote.

Update: Several news outlets, including Reuters and NPR, are now reporting that Giffords has succumbed to her injuries. At least one person has been confirmed dead. Six people, including U.S. District Judge John Roll and a nine-year-old girl, are now confirmed dead.

Some encouraging news about Gifford's condition: The aforementioned news outlets have now retracted their prior statements about her death. She is apparently in surgery, yet in very serious condition. Her surgeon has stated that he is "optimisitc" about her condition.

President Obama responds to the tragedy: "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"