Truly tragic news: Rep. Gabrielle Giffords has been shot in Tucson, while hosting a "congress at your corner" event outside a Safeway store.
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Representative Gabrielle Giffords of Arizona was shot in the head while holding a public event in Tucson, Fox News and National Public Radio reported on Saturday.
Fox said 11 other people were shot when an unidentified gunman ran up and began shooting indiscriminately as Giffords addressed supporters.
Giffords was shot point blank in the head, Fox said.
The network said the gunman was in custody.
Giffords, 40, a Democrat, is married to U.S. astronaut Mark Kelly. She took office in January 2007, emphasizing issues such as immigration reform, embryonic stem-cell research, alternative energy sources and a higher minimum wage.
Rep. Giffords is one of a truly rare breed, an Arizona liberal.
NPR has now reported that she has died from her wounds:
Rep. Gabrielle Giffords and six others died after a gunman opened fire at a public event on Saturday, the Pima County, Ariz., sheriff's office confirms.
The 40-year-old Democrat, who was re-elected to her 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.
I'm not going to speculate on the motive behind the shooting, but I will point out that Arizona's "open carry" laws allow pretty much anyone to walk around with a gun. By meeting openly and publicly with her constituents, she showed herself to be a responsible representative with courage.
Update: There are conflicting reports as to whether she is alive in surgery. I'm hoping for the best.
Update 2: Now confirmed that she is alive and in surgery. I struck out the report of her death.
Update 3: Giffords is out of surgery, in "critical" condition. Also, federal judge John Roll was killed in the shooting.