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Gabrielle Giffords Out of Surgery; 6 Others Dead, Including 9-Year-Old Girl

Gabrielle Giffords

A gunman opened fire at an event with U.S. Representative Gabrielle Giffords in Tucson this morning

Doctors are saying they are “optimistic” that U.S. Representative Gabrielle Giffords will recover after she was shot in the head at a constituent event earlier today. She is out of surgery and in critical condition, but is said to be following commands, which is a good sign from a neurological perspective.

Six others are being reported as dead and as many as 12 others are wounded following a shooting at 10:00 o’clock this morning at a Safeway supermarket in Tucson, Arizona. One of those killed was a federal judge, John Roll, and another was a 9-year-old girl.

The suspect has been identified as 22-year-old Jared Lee Loughner of Tucson, who witnesses described as a young white man who looked like a “fringe character,” with short hair and wearing dark clothing, according to The Huffington Post.

Witnesses reported hearing about 15 shots fired from a semi-automatic handgun, and Giffords was shot point blank in the head as the gunman allegedly shot indiscriminately into the crowd, who one witness described as “sitting ducks.”

Giffords was hosting her first “Congress on Your Corner” event of the year. The purpose was to allow residents in Arizona’s 8th Congressional District to meet her and ask her questions directly about issues, concerns or problems with the federal government. Giffords narrowly won reelection to her third term in November. She is married to U.S. astronaut Mark Kelly.

President Obama spoke a short time ago: “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,” Obama said. “I ask all Americans to join me and Michelle in keeping Representative Giffords, the victims of this tragedy, and their families in our prayers.”

He also said FBI director Robert Mueller is on his way to Arizona to oversee and coordinate the investigation of the shooting.

Source: The Huffington Post

Photo: flickr

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