See updates below.
The Pima County, Ariz., sheriff’s office told member station KJZZ the 40-year-old Democrat was killed. At least nine other people, including members of her staff, were injured.
Giffords, who was re-elected to a third term in November, was hosting a "Congress on Your Corner" event at a Safeway in northwest Tucson when a gunman ran up and started shooting, according to Peter Michaels, news director of Arizona Public Media.
Giffords was talking to a couple when the suspect ran up and fired indiscriminately from about four feet away, Michaels said.
The Washington Post reports that the hospital she was taken to has confirmed that she had been shot in the head and is currently in critical condition along with eight others, including some of her staff, who were also shot at the event. No word so far on the gunman.
Please pray for Representative Giffords, family and staff as well as for the other victims and their families. I’ll update as I learn more.
Update: Fox News Radio has said that the gunman has been tackled and is now in custody. The Capitol Police does not know of a motive in the Giffords shooting. AP has confirmed that a Giffords aide has died.
2nd Update: President Obama’s full statement on the shooting.
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.
Also MSNBC has confirmed a federal judge was also killed, and has taken the opportunity to link this tragedy with the tea party protests and Sarah Palin who issued a statement saying, “My sincere condolences are offered to the family of Rep. Gabrielle Giffords and the other victims of today’s tragic shooting in Arizona. On behalf of Todd and my family, we all pray for the victims and their families, and for peace and justice.”
Stay classy MSNBC. I’d like to note that The Capitol Police are unaware of a motive and that numerous people were shot by the 22-year-old shooter, Jared Loughner. Let’s not politicize this.
3rd Update: Hospital Presser – Giffords survived, out of surgery and they are optimistic about her recovery. The 9-year-old child that was shot has died.
If it is a lone gunman on the left, we will be at the forefrtont of policing those on the right who would try to seize upon this traffgey for political purposes.
This is a sincere plea to those with whom we wage battle on a daily basis in a robust democracy with an appreciation for the First Amendment, but this is also a plea to our political way of thinking who would like to claim victory from a national tragedy. Our prayers go to Rep. Giffords, her family, and the victims who were senselessly attacked by a madman on an unspecified mission.
My tears are flowing, and I am stunned and angered that Gabby Giffords was savagely gunned down while performing her congressional duties. I am praying for Gabby, and my thoughts, prayers, and deepest sympathy go out to her family, as well as the families of each of the victims.
Gabby Giffords governed with integrity and wisdom. We came to Congress together and I had the privilege of knowing her as a friend and colleague.
It is my hope and expectation that the coward who carried out this horrific act of violence will be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. I extend my hand of friendship to her family and staff and will keep them in my prayers.
5th Update: CNN reports 18 shot, six killed.
6th Update: Congressman Bruce Braley (D-IA) and Tom Latham (R-IA) statements on the shooting.
From Congressman Braley:
While we still don’t have all the details, Carolyn and I are praying for Gabby. Our thoughts go out to her husband Mark, her family, her staff and all who know and love her. And I add my deepest condolences to the families of the other victims of this morning’s tragic, senseless shooting.
I also should note that Gabby’s brother, Alex Giffords, was a placekicker for the Iowa State football team. She gave me a print of Beardshear Hall at Iowa State that I have in my office, which she got from her brother.
From Congressman Latham:
Kathy and I are keeping Congresswoman Giffords, her staff, her family and the other victims of today’s senseless tragedy in our hearts and prayers. I know Congresswoman Giffords to be a dedicated servant to her constituents and the cause of democracy in the United States.
“No rational person could ever think that a political disagreement in this great nation should be solved with bullets, and I’m horrified by today’s events.
Working on getting a statement from Congressman Steve King’s (R-IA) office.
7th Update: Speaker John Boehner’s (R-OH) statement.
I am horrified by the senseless attack on Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords and members of her staff. An attack on one who serves is an attack on all who serve. Acts and threats of violence against public officials have no place in our society. Our prayers are with Congresswoman Giffords, her staff, all who were injured, and their families. This is a sad day for our country.
8th Update: Video of Arizona Governor Jan Brewer’s press conference below
9th Update: Congressman Steve King (R-IA) issued a statement:
My prayers continue to be for Gabrielle Giffords, her family, her staff, and all those that are in agony today. We serve together and she is outgoing, personable and widely respected. It is inconceivable that anyone could harbor a vile, vindictive or malicious attitude towards her. I will continue to pray for her swift recovery and for the recovery of all those injured in this tragedy.
I’ve also left messages with Congressman Dave Loebsack (D-IA) and Congressman Leonard Boswell (D-IA), but as of right now they can’t be reached for comment.
10th Update: Linked at Memeorandum – you can catch much of the coverage there.
Final Update 11:30pm: Congressman Leonard Boswell (D-IA) issued a statement:
Today, Congresswoman Giffords, her staff, and her constituents were subjected to a terrible act of violence while participating in one of our most basic American rights – the right to civil discourse. I am deeply saddened and distressed by the news of the Arizona shooting and my prayers go out to the families of the victims impacted by today’s tragic events, including U.S. District Court Judge John Roll who was killed in the shooting. Congresswoman Giffords is a courageous leader and fierce ally for the state of Arizona and all Americans. I have served alongside her on the House Armed Services Committee and on the Blue Dog Coalition. I am praying for her recovery, as well as the recovery of every American and family affected by today’s shooting.
Also, regarding her gunman – being crazy isn’t an ideology.