Absolutely horrible, there is no place for this in America.
Arizona Democratic Rep. Gabrielle Giffords was shot on Saturday morning while hosting an event outside a Tucson grocery store.
Giffords spokesperson C.J. Karamargin told The Washington Post Saturday afternoon that Giffords was in surgery at Tucson’s University Medical Center.
A hospital spokesperson confirmed that Giffords had been shot in the head and was in critical condition Saturday afternoon. Eight others were brought to the hospital with Giffords, including seven adults and one child, all of whom were in either critical or serious condition. The hospital has scheduled a briefing for 1:30 p.m. local time on Saturday.
Until we have more information about who the shooter was and what his motives were, I’m not jumping to any conclusions about this (UPDATE: I completely agree with Ken Rudin of NPR on this). For now, I’m just hoping that Rep. Giffords and the other shooting victims pull through. I’m also thinking about the terrible history of political violence we’ve had in this country, and what this latest incident might mean moving forward. Ugh…
UPDATE 3:26 pm: President Obama has issued a statement.
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.
UPDATE 3:28 pm: John Boehner and Nancy Pelosi also have issued statements. See the “flip” for what they have to say.
UPDATE 3:53 pm: Eric Cantor also has weighed in, his statement is on the “flip.”
UPDATE 4:29 pm: Rep. Jim Moran (D-8th) said, “This is a tragic situation. We’re praying for Gabby to pull through and our thoughts and prayers go out to her staff, their families and the victims of this outrageous violence.”
UPDATE 4:51 pm: Rep. Giffords reportedly is out of surgery and “expected to recover.” Earlier today, Reuters and several other media outlets irresponsibly reported that she was dead. Major “Mainstream” Media FAIL!
“An attack on one who serves is an attack on all who serve,” Mr. Boehner said. “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.”
House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D, Calif.) calls the shooting a “terrible act of violence” and “a national tragedy.”
“It is with the deepest sadness that we have received word of the attack on Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords, members of her staff, and her constituents,” Ms. Pelosi said in a statement. “This terrible act of violence is a national tragedy, and today is a very sad day for our country.
“My prayers, and the prayers of all Members of Congress, go out to her husband, Captain Mark Kelly, their family, and to all of the staff and others who were victims of this horrible attack.
“Congresswoman Giffords is a brilliant and courageous Member of Congress, bringing to Washington the views of a new generation of national leaders. It is especially tragic that she was attacked as she was meeting with her constituents whom she serves with such dedication and distinction.”
I was deeply horrified to learn today of the shooting of Representative Gabrielle Gifford and others in Tucson. Our thoughts and prayers are with Congresswoman Giffords and her family, her staff, and the residents of Tucson on this sad day. As this serious situation continues to develop, I remain in close communication with Democratic leaders, the Speaker’s office and the Sergeant at Arms. We will remain in constant communication regarding any schedule changes.