Not a lot of details yet, but we know that Gabrielle Giffords, the Democratic Representative for Arizona’s 8th congressional district has been shot:
Rep. Gabrielle Giffords was among as many as 12 people wounded in a shooting at a Tucson, Ariz., grocery store where she was holding a campaign event.
ABC affiliate KGUN-TV in Tucson reported that as many as 12 people had been shot, including Giffords. A law enforcement source told KGUN that the shooter was in custody.
Giffords, a Democrat, was scheduled to hold a “Congress on Your Corner” event today at a supermarket in northwest Tucson.
Her condition is not currently known. Other sources reporting on this tragic turn of events:
U.S. Representative Gabrielle Giffords of Arizona was shot in the head outside a grocery store in Tucson while holding a public event, U.S. National Public Radio reported Saturday.
At least three of her staff members were also shot by an unidentified gunman who ran up and began shooting indiscriminately, according to media reports.
Giffords was taken to University Medical Center in Tucson, according to the report. Her condition was not immediately known.
Twelve people were injured in the shooting shortly after 10 o’clock local time, according to Jason Ogan, a spokesman for the Pima Country Sherrif’s department. The police are sweeping the area for any other possible suspects and currently have one person in custody.
Why on earth would somebody do something like this?
UPDATE: Rep. Gabrielle Giffords has died.
Screenshot from the (now removed) Mspace page of Jared Lee Loughner, the suspect in custody.
2:37 PM ET Giffords Alive And In Surgery
A hospital spokeswoman tells MSNBC that Giffords is alive, still in surgery.
From the wiki:
Giffords was first sworn in as a congresswoman on January 3, 2007. She is the third woman in Arizona’s history to be elected to serve in the U.S. Congress. In her inaugural speech on the floor of the House of Representatives, Giffords said a comprehensive immigration reform package needs to include modern technology to secure the border, more border patrol agents, tough employer sanctions for businesses that knowingly hire illegal immigrants, and a guest-worker program. In her first month in office, Congresswoman Giffords voted to support increased federal funding for embryonic stem-cell research, raising the minimum wage, endorsing the recommendations of the 9/11 Commission, and supporting new rules for the House of Representatives targeting ethical issues. Giffords also voted to repeal subsidies to big oil companies and invest the savings in renewable energy. “We put our national security at risk by relying on oil from unstable regimes in the Middle East and Latin America,” Giffords told her colleagues in a speech on the House floor during debate on the Clean Energy Act. The act repeals $14 billion in subsidies given to oil companies and establishes a Strategic Renewable Energy Reserve to increase research in clean renewable energy, to develop greater energy efficiency, and to improve energy conservation.
During the 2007 session of Congress, Giffords introduced a bill (H.R. 1441) that forbids the sale of F-14 aircraft parts on the open market. She also voted for the contentious May 2007 Iraq Emergency Supplemental Spending bill, saying, “I cannot, in good conscience, allow the military to run out of money while American servicemen and women are being attacked every day”.
Giffords is a member of the Blue Dog Coalition and the New Democrat Coalition. 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. She is also known as a strong proponent of solar energy as well as for her work to secure the border with Mexico.
Witnesses on CNN are reporting that there were 15-20 shots fired, that there are at least two bodies on the street, and that Rep. Giffords was “shot point-blank range” in the head.
2:20 p.m. ET: Fox News Channel says it has also “confirmed” that Giffords is dead.
2:15 p.m. ET: Giffords has died, the Pima County Sheriff’s office tells reporter Mark Moran of NPR’s KJZZ in Phoenix.
2:12 p.m. ET: Multiple media outlets are saying there were several fatalities.
2:30 PM ET Chilling
While there is no hard evidence at this point to suggest that the shooting was politically motivated, Matt Yglesias points out that an anti-Giffords event was held in June with the billing: “Get on Target for Victory in November. Help remove Gabrielle Giffords from office. Shoot a fully automatic M16 with Jesse Kelly.”
Rep. Giffords was also on Sarah Palin’s “target list.”
As noted earlier, a gun was dropped at a Giffords event in 2009, and her office was vandalized in March.
NPR is saying at least six others have died. Still conflicting reports about the condition of the Congresswoman.