Gabrielle Giffords, a congresswoman from Arizona, was shot in the head this morning outside a Safeway grocery store in Tucson, Arizona, by a white male in his mid-20s. Witnesses said she and members of her staff were greeting the public when a gunman approached her from behind and shot into her head. He reportedly fired about 20 rounds; approximately 12 others were injured in the shooting. A staffer tackled the young gunman, who has been taken into custody. Rep. Giffords, 40, a Democrat, has been in office since January 2007. In March, her Tucson office had been vandalized right before the health care reform vote; her office spokesperson said she received “nasty and rude and hateful comments” at the time as well. She was recently elected to a third term. NPR and CNN have reported that Giffords died, but as of 3:20 p.m. on Saturday afternoon, her husband, an astronaut named Mark Kelly, had confirmed to a local TV station that she is still alive. Our thoughts go out to Gabrielle Giffords’ family and loved ones.
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