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Rep Gabrielle Giffords Shot In Tucson

Jim Burroway

January 8th, 2011

This is shocking news. Barely one mile from where I am right now, Rep. Gabriel Giffords (D-AZ) was shot in the head at point-blank range while hosting a “Congress On Your Corner” meet and greet event at a Safeway supermarket. Early reports said that she was killed, but latest reports have her undergoing surgery at University Medical Center, the only Level I trauma center in Southern Arizona.

A victim being loaded onto a helicopter on Ina Rd. Oracle and Ina Roads, two major thorouughfares in northwest Tucson, are closed to traffic.

It is not clear right now whether the gunman is still at large or not. One report has it that the gunman, apparently in his mid-20′s, shot off 20 rounds with an automated weapon. Channel 13 is reporting that at least five people were killed, and six were injured.

Last March, her Tucson office was vandalized a few hours after the House vote overhauling the nation’s health care system, the authorities said.

Update: 1:41 MST: A suspect is in custody. He has not been identified. Nine people were brought to the hospital, including a child. All of them are in either serious or critical condition and are undergoing surgery.

Update: 1:47 MST: The Pima County sheriff’s office now says that six people have died and 18 were injured.

Update: 1:50 MST: Channel 4 spoke with Tucson City Manager Richard Miranda, who says that that Rep. Giffords is expected to pull through. This is a promising, if unconfirmed report.

Update: 1:53 MST: A press conference is scheduled for 2:00 at University Medical Center.

Update: 2:06 MST: The gunman, who still has not been identified, is said to be 22 years old and with  “limited law enforcement experience.” He walked up behind Giffords and started firing. He tried to escape on foot but was tackled and held until police arrived. Giffords had reportedly received numerous threats.

This may not have been the first attempt on Giffords’s life. Last August, protester showed up at another supermarket event was apprehended by police when a pistol he holstered slipped and fell to the floor. And then, there’s this:

During the fall campaign, Sarah Palin, the former Republican vice-presidential candidate, posted a controversial map on her Facebook page depicting spots where Democrats were running for re-election; those Democrats were noted by crosshairs symbols like those seen through the scope of a gun. Ms. Giffords was among those on Ms. Palin’s map.

Update: 2:13 MST: The Sheriff’s office says that the suspect used “a pistol with an extended magazine.” Sheriff deputies are currently executing multiple search warrants at multiple locations. They have not ruled out a second suspect.

Update: 2:15 MST: From the news conference at UMC:

Trauma surgeon Peter Rhee called the situation a catastrophe. He said UMC received 10 patients and one child who is dead. Five are in critical condition and five are in surgery, he said.

The congresswoman is in critical condition. Neurosurgeons have finished operating on her after she was shot through the head one time. Rhee is optimistic about her condition because she was able to follow commands.

Rep. Giffords is in intensive care.

Update: 2:19 MST: The suspect has been identified as 22-year-old Jared Lee Loughner. Five are dead, including a nine-year-old child. Thirteen have been injured. In addition to the victims taken to UMC, four were also taken to St. Mary’s Hospital, three with gunshot wounds.

Update: 2:24 MST: The death toll now stands at six. Among the dead: a nine-year-old girl, an aide to Rep. Giffords, and U.S. District Judge John Roll.

Update: 3:29 MST: From UMC:

Rhee says 10 patients were delivered to UMC – of those, 1 young girl is dead, 5 people are critical condition and 5 people are in surgery. Rhee says the deceased girl was about 9 years old.

Update: 3:27 MST. Here is the shooter’s YouTube channel.

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Four other videos here. This is looking more and more like a case of mental illness:

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Mentally ill, and with a grievance:

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Comments

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L. Junius Brutus
January 8th, 2011 | LINK

One of the dead if a young child. The worst tortures in the world are too good for the animal who did this. Hopefully, he’ll watch Giffords’s re-election from death row.

tim
January 8th, 2011 | LINK

@ brutus

While horrible – keep in mind we suck at applying the death penalty and in Arizona alone 8 people have been freed after being found innocent. Don’t use this excuse to continue to push a bad policy.

Life without parole is more than sufficient.

L. Junius Brutus
January 8th, 2011 | LINK

If innocents are being freed, it means that the system works. It would be more troubling if people were found to be innocent after already having been executed. In that case, the solution is to better apply it, not to abolish it outright.

And I disagree, no amount of punishment is sufficient for this animal.

John P
January 8th, 2011 | LINK

If it turns out the (alleged) gunman was motivated by extreme right-wing animus, I won’t hold my breath waiting for Sarah Palin and the Tea Party “patriots” to apologize for the violence they’ve incited….

I can only hope that perhaps the deaths of that poor child and the other INNOCENT victims today will cause right-wingers of good will (there must be at least a few…) to pressure their fellows to moderate their vitriol.

Timothy Kincaid
January 8th, 2011 | LINK

Giffords was elected to this seat in 2006, when gay Republican Jim Kolbe retired.

Giffords was a moderate “blue dog” Democrat who was pro-military and who pushed for border security, small business tax relief and limits to the alternative minimum tax.

She was also a pro-gay vote, supporting the repeal of DADT and the hate crimes bill. She did not vote on ENDA.

Lindoro Almaviva
January 8th, 2011 | LINK

I am going to have to agree with Brutus on some of it. This is, to me, a clear capital punishment case and one that i see as a slam dunk, given how the suspect was caught with a smoking gun, quite literally.

Now, I have to disagree when he says that the system is working because any system that sends an innocent person to jail for any amount of time is not working on all cylinders. Let’s be grateful that at least some of the innocent were discovered before they were put to death.

Given how her office was vandalized, I Think we can be pretty certain that her political views are the main reason for this. That being said , this kind of event bothers me because I smell how this kind domestic terrorism is fueled by some of the rhetoric that is coming from the far right; and yet nothing is done about it.

I understand that there are 1st amendment concerns, but there has to be a time when the public has to take the blinders off and realize that what these pundits are espousing is having real consequences to real people. How long will people like Palin, Beck and the cigar smoking drub addict (his name escapes me) are going to be able to go on with no consequences?

Chuck Mielke
January 8th, 2011 | LINK

Even if this suspect is found, indeed, to be the shooter; even if said suspect is found, indeed, to be insane, the responsibility of the hateful talking heads in NOT diminished. The existence of the mentally unbalanced, of the highly suggestible, in any audience must be taken for granted. To fail to do so is to become complicit in whatever act ensues.

If Dan White can get a slap on the wrist by means of “the twinkie defense,” Limbaugh, Hannity, et al. should be tried for incitement after this event. Free speech does NOT include shouting “Fire!” in a crowded theater. Neither does it include “Lock and load!” in a heated political contest.

Emily K
January 8th, 2011 | LINK

Jeez, she was a Blue Dog? She’s more conservative than my Massachusetts-residing Republican cousins!

What exactly was she being targeted for??

Mark F.
January 8th, 2011 | LINK

Sorry to hear about this, but what does this have to do with gay rights? Are we going to have postings about black kids gunned down in Harlem or maybe something on the search for life on Mars? Let’s keep this site on topic, shall we?

Priya Lynn
January 8th, 2011 | LINK

Junius said “If innocents are being freed, it means that the system works. It would be more troubling if people were found to be innocent after already having been executed.”.

No one is going to attempt to prove an already executed person innocent. If people on death row have been found to be innocent its a given that innocent people have been executed.

Timothy Kincaid
January 8th, 2011 | LINK

I think that we’ve discussed the death penalty enough now. It really isn’t relevant to this topic.

L. Junius Brutus
January 8th, 2011 | LINK

Lindoro: “I am going to have to agree with Brutus on some of it. ”

My God! The end of the world is upon us!

Lindoro Almaviva
January 8th, 2011 | LINK

My God! The end of the world is upon us!

yeah, and you not gonna like what daddy is going to do to you.

How you doing? happy new year.

Jane Doe
January 8th, 2011 | LINK

ARTICLE: During the fall campaign, Sarah Palin, the former Republican vice-presidential candidate, posted a controversial map on her Facebook page depicting spots where Democrats were running for re-election; those Democrats were noted by crosshairs symbols like those seen through the scope of a gun. Ms. Giffords was among those on Ms. Palin’s map.
MY OPINION: How would the GOP (Gods own personal) react to Sarah Palin being shot or one of her children in revenge of the 9 year old girl?

libhomo
January 9th, 2011 | LINK

Sarah Palin must face a criminal investigation for what she has done.

L. Junius Brutus
January 9th, 2011 | LINK

Lindoro: “yeah, and you not gonna like what daddy is going to do to you.

How you doing? happy new year.”

Good, thanks, and you too.

Libhomo: “Sarah Palin must face a criminal investigation for what she has done.”

Clearly, Sarah Palin has committed no crime. So what’s the point of an investigation?

Priya Lynn
January 9th, 2011 | LINK

Junius, you might want to have a look at PBS Frontline tonight.

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