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Since 2008 – Progress Through Politics

BREAKING: Congresswoman Shot in Arizona – UPDATING

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

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.

Jared Loughner

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.

NPR reporting:

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.


Ominous reporting at Huffpo:

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.


  1. spacemanspiff

    I am so scared right now for our leaders.

    May God bring peace to the family. I will be praying hard and sending good vibes there way.

    On that note…

    Keep fanning that hate motherfuckers! You see what it got us?

    I am literally shaking of fright and rage!!!!


    I am younger and have not lived through times when this ocurred more frequently. Why? Why do this? I am so MAD right now. I can’t even put into words how I feel. Helpless. Scared. All the fears I had buried deep about Obama and those who want to hurt him have come rushing back. Why? Gifford was such a beautiful and talented person. A hardworker. I don’t know much about her but I do know that you don’t get on Sarah Palins shitlist by being a pushover. I can’t even put any coherent words to describe the emotions. This is such a tragedy.

    I feel like throwing up.

  2. …overtly political. But I’m reading about Sarah Palin’s crosshairs campaign, saying that Gifford’s was in her gunsights.

    Also, DKos is running a Second Amendment Solutions about the targeting campaign by the Tea Party candidate standing against here

    These are images from his FB page.

    We’ve all feared that the rhetoric of hate may spill over from words into actions. I fear the terrible time has come. May she rest in peace.


  3. fogiv

    Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, D-Ariz., was shot in the head and an unknown number of others were wounded Saturday when an assailant opened fire in an area where the lawmaker was meeting with constituents in Tucson, congressional officials said.

    These officials said one of the victims died soon after the attack, and others were taken to a nearby hospital.

    The officials said the wounded included some of Gifford’s aides who were with her at the time.

    One official added the attack was carried out with an automatic weapon.

  4. fogiv

    way back when:

    Catalyzed by shifting demographic trends toward Caucasian minorities and the fringe conspiracy theories that are increasingly disseminated by mainstream media figures like Glenn Beck, Sean Hannity, Rush Limbaugh, Lou Dobbs, Michael Savage, and others, the anti-government movement is growing all across the United States. Feeding this extremism are the same usual radical ideologies, radical religious beliefs, pent-up anger, and frustration that can lead to violence-from ‘lone wolf’ hate crimes to acts of mass-casualty domestic terrorism.

  5. sricki

    Still conflicting reports on whether she’s dead or alive… dunno. Really is a nightmare. Haven’t read the comments here, so I’m probably rehashing, but this from HuffPo caught my eye:

    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.

    There’s an image accompanying that top blurb.

    No matter what happens, I hope Palin at LEAST is roasted by the media — including Fox, who will probably be trying to cover their asses as well.

  6. fogiv

    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.

  7. that she is in surgery. A GOP representative on Fox is talking like she is still alive.

    A doctor at University of Arizona hospital is giving an update. She is still alive, although in critical condition. She was shot in the head and the bullet went through her brain. They received 10 victims, one of whom died. Five are still in surgery.

  8. fogiv

    10 wounded, 5 in surgery. one death was young child (9 years old).  Giffords is in critical condition, but outlook is optimistic.  she was shot through the head, and is in recovery after surgery.

    this info just from one hospital.  other reports suggest another fatality: federal judge John Roll

  9. HappyinVT

    WNBC reporter Jonathan Dienst confirmed [John] Roll was killed. A statement from Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano said in a statement that Roll had been attacked.


    Roll faced death threats in 2009 after presiding over a $32 million civil-rights lawsuit, the Arizona Republic reported:


    When Roll ruled the case could go forward, Gonzales said talk-radio shows cranked up the controversy and spurred audiences into making threats.

       In one afternoon, Roll logged more than 200 phone calls. Callers threatened the judge and his family. They posted personal information about Roll online.

       “They said, ‘We should kill him. He should be dead,’ ” Gonzales said.

  10. DTOzone

    when the President spoke, NBC refused to cut into college football to show his brief comments.

    And people want to know why Democrats can’t message. NBC decided a football game was more important than the President speaking to the country in the wake of a national tragedy. When I posted my displeasure on Facebook, the response was that it was ok because other channels were carrying it.

    Basically, if you want to see your President, go find it.

    Do you think any network wouldn’t cut into anything for Bush?  

  11. and probably not really a good thread to ask something like this, but has anyone heard from happy lately? I’ve noticed her absence and was beginning to wonder about her. I would think an event like this would have brought her out of lurking mode if she was around.

  12. HappyinVT

    Greg Mitchell tweet:

    GregMitch If “everyone needs to turn down hate rhetoric equally” why is it only rigthwing sites and politicians who feel need to scrub sites now?  

  13. HappyinVT

    to a suspicious package.

    I’d like to think some well-meaning mourner left something behind in remembrance but we’ll see.

  14. HappyinVT

    Judge Roll was on his way back from mass and simply stopped by to say hello to his friend Rep. Giffords.  Seems like the gunman just happened to shoot a federal judge.

  15. fogiv

    Giffords spokesman C.J. Karamargin said three Giffords staffers were shot in the attack. One died, and the other two are expected to survive. Gabe Zimmerman, a former social worker who served as Giffords’ director of community outreach, died.

    9:43 PM ET Gun Purchased Legally

    The AP reports:

    WASHINGTON – A law enforcement official tells The Associated Press that the handgun used in a shooting that killed a federal judge and wounded a U.S. congresswoman in Tucson, Ariz., was purchased legally. U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords was shot in the head Saturday morning during an event with voters outside a local grocery store. U.S. District Judge John Roll, and at least five others, were killed in the attack.

    The official, who has been briefed on the investigation, spoke to the AP on the condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to discuss details of the case. Officials have identified the shooter as 22-year-old Jared Loughner of Tucson. He is in custody. The Washington Post reported late Saturday that Loughner purchased the gun Nov. 30 from the Sportsman’s Warehouse in Tucson.

    Sheriff Clarence Dupnik, speaking about Arizona:

    “When you look at unbalanced people, how they respond to the vitriol that comes out of certain mouths about tearing down the government. The anger, the hatred, the bigotry that goes on in this country is getting to be outrageous. And, unfortunately, Arizona I think has become sort of the capital. We have become the Mecca for prejudice and bigotry.

    “It’s not unusual for all public officials to get threats constantly, myself included. And that’s the sad thing of what’s going on in America. Pretty soon, we’re not going to be able to find reasonable, decent people who are willing to subject themselves to serve in public office.”

    He later added:

    DUPNIK: Let me just say one thing, because people tend to poo-poo this business about all the vitriol that we hear inflaming the American public by people who make a living off of doing that. That may be free speech. But it’s not without consequences.

    REPORTER: How do you know that that’s what caused it.

    DUPNIK: You don’t.

    8:38 PM ET Second Suspect Sought

    Authorities are seeking a second suspect in today’s shooting, Sheriff Dupnik confirms.

  16. DeniseVelez

    I was away all day and heard the news in the car on the drive home. Without the newscaster identifying the Party of the Congresswoman shot – I knew she would be a Democrat.

    Got home checked the news online; trying to make sense of the TV coverage.

    Checked into Dkos and left quickly as soon as I saw a group of comments twisting this entire horrific tragedy into yet another series of anti-Obama remarks.

    The Sarah Palin (scrubbed) website graphic with the Congresswoman in “the cross-hairs” is chilling.

    Knew this was coming.  Not surprised it happened in AZ but it could happen anywhere at this point given the insanity of the hate climate.

    Prayers for the families of those who were murdered.  Prayers for the survival of the wounded.  I know some of you don’t believe in prayer, but those families are asking for them and they’ll get mine.

  17. HappyinVT

    # Sen mccain has left the concert he expressed regret to my friend about the shooting 3 minutes ago via Mobile Web

    # I will be blogging about ny trip to cartagena next week. This is a lovely city about 1 hour ago via Mobile Web

    # Contingent is the correct word not contingency about 1 hour ago via Mobile Web

    # There is a large contingency in next box of policy makers-mccain,amb. mckinley,seator from wyoming- hope they love the music about 2 hours ago via Mobile Web

    # Sitting in the next box at festival de musica senator mccain and the senator from wyoming barasso about 2 hours ago via Twitter for BlackBerry®

    Sen. McCain goes to a concert mere hours after a colleague from his own freakin’ state is shot?  Where a federal judge was killed?  Where nine-year-old Christina Taylor was killed?  Fuck him.

  18. They couldn’t be worse for the hatemongers. Firstly, the sheer number of victims. Then there are the principle victims – a 9 year-old girl (it hurts to even type those words), a federal judge, and a moderate politician who is not a flaming liberal. On top of that, the politician is a young, good-looking, white woman. The media isn’t going to let this go anytime soon.

  19. CNN is dancing around it, FOX is doing everything but talk about it. I’ll say it.

    Rupert Murdoch killed a nine-year-old girl.

    This shooter is a mental case, but without the focused attention on hating all things government, he would have ended up somewhere else and perhaps that hair less violent. Rupert can paint a little girl silhouette on his fuselage.

  20. fogiv

    We spoke to an eyewitness, Steven Rayle, who was on the scene at the time of the shooting and helped to hold the suspect down while waiting for police. Here’s what he said:

    The event was very informal: Giffords had set up a table outside the Safeway and about 20-30 people were gathered to talk to her. The gunman, who may have come from inside the Safeway, walked up and shot Giffords in the head first, “point blank”. According to Rayle, who is a former ER doctor, Giffords was able to move her hands after being shot.

    After shooting Giffords, the gunman opened fire indiscriminately for a few seconds, firing 20-30 rounds and hitting a number of people, including a kid no older than 10 years old. Rayle hid behind a concrete pole and pretended to be dead. When the gunman apparently ran out of ammunition he attempted to flee, but a member of Giffords’ staff tackled him. Rayle helped hold the gunman down while waiting for the sheriff to arrive, about 15-to-20 minutes later. The EMS came about 30 minutes later. Rayle said he was “stunned” by how long it took medical help to arrive.

    The gunman was young, mid-to-late 20s, white, clean-shaven with short hair and wearing dark clothing and said nothing during the shooting or while being held down, although he struggled at first. He was “not particularly well-dressed”; he didn’t look like a businessman, but more of a “fringe character,” Rayle said. The sheriff’s department arrived, arrested the gunman and cordoned off the parking lot.

  21. DeniseVelez

    The Pima County sheriff’s office has released the identities of the other people killed in the shooting. They are John Roll, 63, a federal district court judge, Gabriel Zimmerman, Giffords’ 30-year-old director of community outreach, Dorwin Stoddard, 76, a pastor, Dorthy Murray, 76, and 79-year-old Phyllis Scheck.

    Am reading the Guardian UK because they won’t have Fox-filters on this:

    The shooting has sparked fierce critics of the toxic political climate both in Arizona and the US as a whole. In recent months, Giffords, a supporter of the healthcare reforms, had received death threats, and her offices had been shot at.

    While the motive for the shooting was not immediately clear, Giffords is one of 10 Democrat members of Congress who were the subject of harassment over their support for Obama’s healthcare overhaul.

    Her Tucson constituency office was vandalised in March after she voted in favour of the controversial health bill, which was bitterly opposed by the US right.

    Detail from Sarah Palin’s Take Back The 20 Facebook page Detail from Sarah Palin’s ‘target map’ of the US. Photograph: AP

    Giffords was named as a political campaign target for conservatives in last November’s mid-term elections by the former Alaska governor Sarah Palin.

    Palin had published a “target map” on her website using images of gunsights to identify 20 House Democrats, including Giffords, backing the new healthcare law. Gifford won by a narrow margin, seeing off opposition from a Tea Party-backed Republican candidate

  22. “Before getting into some personal political comments, the Sheriff gave some real information…”





    Manipulation of the truth.

  23. creamer

      If I understand this correctly, this young man was dismissed from college after campus police were called to classroom disruptions on 6 occasions. The college told him he would need a psychological release to be reinstated. Somtime in November he entered a gun shop and legaly bought a gun. I’m kind of waiting to see if this gets anyones attention.(in the media)

     Look at what we know about the shooter. A paranoid, unhinged young man who needed help. And we knew it. But not only do we no apparent mechanism in place for the school athority to report his issues to, we have no apparent mechanism to keep him from buying a gun.

      We push the mentaly ill out on the street because they are inconvient and costly, we allow too many guns on the street because its profitable and we wouldn’t want to step on anyones “rights”. It would seem that if we had addressed either of theese issues, we would not have to listen to parents discribe the worst day of their lives.

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