From Breaking News: Local media is reporting Congresswoman Gabby Giffords, a Democrat, was shot ‘point blank in the head at a town-hall like event in northern Tucson. Is this the beginning?
Update from NBC News: Dem Party in Tucson saying Giffords taken to hospital, 5 others also shot. Shooter apparently in custody.
Update 2: from Fox Phoenix: 12 people shot at Gabby Giffords community meeting. Congresswoman among the injured, while CNN reports 6 dead and 15 wounded.
Update 3: NPR confirms Gifford has died.
Update 4: Reuters refuting the previous NPR news, and states that Giffords is still alive, in surgery, nine other patients brought in from shooting, per a hospital spokeswoman
The best coverage of this event we have found so far is, ironically, on Sky News:
And now it gets pathetically political: Breaking news reports that a liberal blogger blames Sarah Palin for Gabrielle Giffords assasination attempt.
“F*** it. I’m going there” One liberal blogger wrote on Saturday after news of Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords was shot dead in point blank range at a Tuscon rally. The blogger TBogg blamed former Alaskan Governor Sarah Palin for the congresswoman’s death after Palin named Giffords as one of her ‘targets’ during the 2010 mid-term elections. Palin was caught in controversy when she published on her Facebook page a graphic that showed several ‘target’ districts, including Giffords 8th district in Arizona.
Gawker has provided a description of the shooter:
A gunman indiscriminately fired into a crowd at a gathering for Democratic representative Gabrielle Giffords outside a Safeway in Tucson, Arizona this morning. Giffords and at least five others were shot, according to NPR. The gunman was tackled and arrested.
Update: We spoke to an eyewitness, Steven Rayle who was on the scene at the time of the shooting and helped to hold the suspect down while waiting for police. Here's what he said:
The event was very informal: Gifford had set up a table outside the Safeway and about 20-30 people were gathered to talk to her. The gunman, who may have come from inside the Safeway, walked up and shot Gifford in the head first. According to Rayle, who is a former ER doctor, Gifford was able to move her hands after being shot.
After shooting Gifford, the gunman opened fire indiscriminately for a few seconds, hitting a number of people, including a kid no older than 10 years old. Rayle hid behind a concrete pole and pretended to be dead. When the gunman apparently ran out of ammunition he attempted to flee, but a member of Gifford's staff tackled him. The Rayle helped hold him down while waiting for the sheriff to arrive, about 15-or 20 minutes later. 30 minutes later the EMS came. Rayle said he was "stunned" by how long it took medical help to arrive.
The man was young, mid-to-late 20s, white clean-shaven with short hair and wearing dark clothing and said nothing during the shooting or while being held down. He didn't look like a businessman, but more of a "fringe character," our source said.
From Giffrods Wikipedia page:
Giffords was first sworn in as a congresswoman on January 3, 2007. She is the third woman in Arizona's history to be elected to serve in the U.S. Congress. In her inaugural speech on the floor of the House of Representatives, Giffords said a comprehensive immigration reform package needs to include modern technology to secure the border, more border patrol agents, tough employer sanctions for businesses that knowingly hire illegal immigrants, and a guest-worker program. In her first month in office, Congresswoman Giffords voted to support increased federal funding for embryonic stem-cell research, raising the minimum wage, endorsing the recommendations of the 9/11 Commission, and supporting new rules for the House of Representatives targeting ethical issues. Giffords also voted to repeal subsidies to big oil companies and invest the savings in renewable energy. "We put our national security at risk by relying on oil from unstable regimes in the Middle East and Latin America," Giffords told her colleagues in a speech on the House floor during debate on the Clean Energy Act. The act repeals $14 billion in subsidies given to oil companies and establishes a Strategic Renewable Energy Reserve to increase research in clean renewable energy, to develop greater energy efficiency, and to improve energy conservation.
During the 2007 session of Congress, Giffords introduced a bill (H.R. 1441) that forbids the sale of F-14 aircraft parts on the open market. She also voted for the contentious May 2007 Iraq Emergency Supplemental Spending bill, saying, "I cannot, in good conscience, allow the military to run out of money while American servicemen and women are being attacked every day".
More as we see it.