Democratic Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords was shot in the head at point-blank range and is now in surgery at University Medical Center. Reports now state that at least one other person is dead as a result of the shooting.
The shooting happened around 10 a.m. local time at a Safeway grocery store where Giffords was holding a “Congress on Your Corner” event. Nine others are also in surgery at this time. Reports have been shaky and conflicting at times, but according to NPR, six others have been declared dead.
Reports state that a man started yelling out names at about 10 a.m. and began to fire a semi-automatic weapon into the crowd randomly. He was eventually tackled and subdued by a bystander and taken into custody. Other reports from witnesses say that the gunman was quiet and calm as he fired into the crowd.
In March, Giffords’ office was vandalized following the controversial health care reform vote. In June, an event condemning Giffords was held with a tagline including “Get on Target for Victory in November. Help remove Gabrielle Giffords from office. Shoot a fully automatic M16 with Jesse Kelly.”
However, there is no immediate hard evidence to prove that this was a politically charged shooting. According to The New York Times, when her father was asked if she had any enemies, he said while crying “Yeah. The whole Tea Party.”
Giffords’ last tweet posted to her Twitter account states: “My 1st Congress on Your Corner starts now. Please stop by to let me know what is on your mind or tweet me later.”
Giffords holds the “Congress on Your Corner” event on a regular basis to hear concerns from the public regarding pressing issues among the public.