Congresswoman in critical condition after Arizona shooting, six others dead

By ANDREW DONOVAN

TUCSON, A.Z. (WKTV) - Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords was critically shot, among 17 other people, while attending a constituent event Saturday afternoon outside a grocery store in her congressional district in Arizona.

Giffords is said to be fighting for her life at a hospital in critical condition but her doctors said they were "optimistic" that she will survive.

NBC News is reporting that six of the victims have died, including a nine-year-old girl and a federal judge, Judge John Roll.

Giffords is a Democrat who was sworn in for a third term Wednesday on Capitol Hill. She was a member of the Arizona State House and Senate before going to Washington. She returned to her district, Arizona's 8th Congressional District, for an event where constituents could meet with the congresswoman.

Congressman Richard Hanna, who was sworn-in with Giffords Wednesday, released a statement Saturday. Hanna said, “My thoughts and prayers go out to Representative Giffords, her family and staff, as well as the friends and family of the deceased."

Hanna and other congress members were alerted by Capitol Hill Police that there is no immediate threat to them, as this was an isolated incident. Hanna reinforced that message in a note to his staffers.

President Barack Obama also spoke on the shooting rampage from the White House's State Dining Room. President Obama called the shooting "an unspeakable tragedy" and that such "a senseless and terrible act of violence has no place in a free society."

In custody is the suspected shooter, identified as 22-year-old Jared Loughner from Arizona. Officials say Loughner told authorities at the scene he had acted alone, although it is not certain that is the case.

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