A man, described as a 22 year-old white male, ran up to Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, 40, while she was talking to a couple, and starting firing a gun at point blank range. Giffords is reported to have been shot in the head at a “Congress on Your Corner” public event outside at a Safeway grocery store at the corner of Ina and Oracle roads in northwest Tucson. The shooting occurred shortly after 10:00 a.m. MST.
Giffords was reported dead just before 12:20 p.m. MST. Later it was reported that she was critically wounded.
Arizona State Senator Linda Lopez reported about 1:30 p.m. MST that a bullet entered a temple region of her head and exited the side of her head. Lopez also state that Giffords was responding to commands from medical personnel.
Report at 1:20 PM MST: 19 shot, but 5 have died, and Giffords gravely wounded in critical condition. Nine people were in surgery. Others are possibly in grave condition.
Federal Judge John M. Roll was reported killed in the shooting.
Hospital Press Release at 2:00 p.m. MST
1 patient died — a young child (female 9 years-old)
Gabrielle Gifford neurosurgery complete and very optimistic about recovery … bullet wound was a through-and-through
5 in critical condition
5 in surgery currently
— Peter Rhee, Chief, Division of Trauma, Critical Care and Emergency Surgery
University of Arizona
The early report was that at least 12 people were shot, that Giffords had been killed, and that four other people were also reported to be killed, including a child.
Giffords was transported to University Medical Center, 1501 N Campbell Avenue, Tucson, Arizona. Three aids to the representative, that are described as Arizona-based staff, have been shot. Other victims have been transported to Northwest Medical Center, 6200 N La Cholla Boulevard, Tucson, AZ.
A witness reported hearing 15 shots fired.
Security or police or a bystander also returned fire and hit the gunman. The gunman is in custody after being tackled and detained.
Medical helicopters and police helicopters were seen at landing zones near the scene.
Gabrielle Giffords (born June 8, 1970) is the U.S. Representative for Arizona’s 8th congressional district. She is a member of the Democratic Party. She is described as a former Republican, and as of late was a ‘Blue Dog Democrat’.
She is the only member of the U.S. Congress whose spouse, astronaut Mark E. Kelly, is an active duty member of the U.S. military.
Giffords is known as a strong proponent of solar energy as well as for her work to secure the border with Mexico.
She once took over her family automotive business.
U.S. Representative Gabrielle Giffords is married to astronaut Mark Kelly, a veteran of Desert Storm. The couple have two children.