Outpouring Of Support For Congresswoman Shot In Arizona

CHICAGO (CBS) — Members of Illinois’ congressional delegation were offering words of sympathy and support for U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords and more than a dozen other people who were shot in a deadly attack in Arizona on Saturday.

Giffords, an Arizona Democrat, was one of at least 10 people wounded in the shooting spree. She was shot in the head and an aide was killed when a gunman opened fire outside a grocery store where Giffords was meeting with constituents.

At least six people were killed and 13 others were wounded. Local hospital officials said five of those people were in critical condition.

Giffords was shot in the head and doctors said her outlook was “very optimistic.”

Also killed was U.S. District Judge John Roll, the U.S. Marshal for Arizona David Gonzales confirmed.

A young child approximately 9 years old was also killed, according to a hospital spokesperson.

The shooting spree has prompted an outpouring of sympathy and support from across the nation, including members of Illinois’ congressional delegation.

Republican U.S. Sen. Mark Kirk, who served in the House with Giffords before he was elected to the Senate last fall,

U.S. Sen. Mark Kirk, a Republican who knows Giffords, says he anticipates making sure security is in place during his own town hall meetings to deter “copycat actions.”

“Right now, there doesn’t seem to be any coordinated threat against congressmen or senators,” Kirk told CBS 2’s Suzanne Le Mignot. “An incident like this causes us to be more concerned.”

Members of Congress do not have Secret Service protection. They are protected by U.S. Capitol Police on the Hill, but they have to provide their own security – if any – in their home districts.

U.S. Rep. Jan Schakowsky, an Evanston Democrat, said “Gabby is a great friend of mine. I know what a brilliant and a dedicated public servant she is, but just also, just a really nice person that I know likes to be out there with her constituents. It’s just such a tragedy.”
Earlier in the day, news reports indicated Giffords had been killed, but hospital officials later said she was in surgery and they were optimistic she would recover.

“It’s been this roller coaster,” hearing the conflicting reports, Schakowsky said.

Rahm Emanuel – a former Democratic congressman who helped engineer the Democratic takeover of Congress in 2006, when Giffords first took office – said “What occurred today in Arizona is a senseless and horrific tragedy. Gabby is a friend, a former colleague, and a respected public servant who was doing what she loved most: meeting her constituents.”

“She will be in … my thoughts and prayers as she fights for her life, as will all of the victims,” Emanuel added.

U.S. Rep. Judy Biggert, a Hinsdale Republican, said, “This is a shocking tragedy. Gabrielle is an amazing woman, a talented legislator, and a wonderful human being.”

Biggert has worked with Giffords on the House’s Science and Technology Committee.

U.S. Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr., a Chicago Democrat, said, “I am deeply, deeply saddened by today’s shocking and horrific attack on Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, her staff and attendees at her public event. Rep. Giffords is a bright, engaging member of Congress, and has a tremendous future ahead of her. I saw her this past Thursday in the Democratic cloakroom, and she was as pleasant as ever. I will keep her in my thoughts and prayers, and hope to see her on Capitol Hill again soon.”

President Barack Obama called Giffords an “extraordinary public servant.”

“She is also somebody who is warm and caring. She is well-liked by her colleagues and well-liked by her constitutents,” Obama said. “It’s not surprising today Gabby was doing what she always does,” he said, “Listening to hopes and concerns of her neighbors. That is the essence of what our democracy is all about. That is why this is more than a tragedy for those involved. It is a tragedy for Arizona and a tragedy for our entire country.”

Obama said he has ordered FBI Director Robert Mueller to personally go to Arizona to aid in the investigation.

“This is more than a tragedy for those involved. It is a tragedy for Arizona and a tragedy for our entire country,” he added. “Gabby is as tough as they come and I’m hopeful that she’s gonna pull through.”

Police said the suspect, Jared Loughner, 22, has had one minor run-in with the law. Little information is known immediately about Laughner – such as his background or a possible motive in the attack.

Police said a pistol with an extended magazine was used.

A law enforcement source told CBS News that a man apparently stood up in the crowd during the town hall meeting, shouted something and then opened fire. Someone – possibly police or security – then shot at the gunman.

The gunman has been apprehended but it is unknown if he was wounded.

Loughner is talking to authorities, but there is no evidence at this point that there is any other shooter involved.

The FBI and local law enforcement are investigating the attack.

Sarah PAC Crosshairs Map

(Credit: SarahPAC.com)

Giffords was one of 17 Democratic lawmakers that Republican Sarah Palin highlighted during the healthcare reform debates. Her political action committee sent out election material featuring maps of the U.S. with crosshair targets over the states where those lawmakers served.

She has argued emphatically that the list was only figurative in intention.

During the healthcare debate, Palin also posted to followers of her Twitter page “Don’t Retreat, Reload.”

After Palin’s comments, Giffords’ local congressional office was vandalized, just a few hours after she voted to pass the healthcare reform bill.

On Saturday, Palin said her prayers are with Giffords and the other shooting victims.

Giffords, 40, who just started her third term in Congress, was reelected in November after defeating Republican and Tea Party favorite Jesse Kelly by a margin 49 percent to 47 percent.

A moderate Democrat, Giffords has drawn the ire of the right, especially for her support of the health care bill. Shortly following her vote in favor of the health care reform law last March, her office in Tucson was vandalized, leaving the front door smashed.

Following her swearing-in on Wednesday, the congresswoman introduced a bill to cut congressional salaries by five percent. Giffords was also among 19 Democrats who voted for someone other than Nancy Pelosi in Wednesday’s vote for House Speaker. (She voted for Georgia Democrat John Lewis.)

She also participated in Thursday’s reading of the Constitution on the House floor. She read the First Amendment, saying: “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof, or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press, or of the of the people peacably to assemble, and to petition the government for the redress of grievances.”

According to her office, the “Congress on Your Corner” events allows residents of her district “to meet their congresswoman one-on-one and discuss with her any issue, concern or problem involving the federal government.” Her office says she has hosted “numerous” events since taking office in 2007.

Giffords’ husband is Mark Kelly, an astronaut who is scheduled to command the Shuttle Endeavor when it launches in April. Her brother-in-law, Scott Kelly, is in charge of and currently aboard the International Space Station.

(TM and © Copyright 2010 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS Radio and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2010 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. CBS News and The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

  • Sheila Wolverton

    Don’t include Sarah Palin in the same story with the shooting of Gabby Gifford. It has no bearing and does not add to the senseless tradgedy. I am sick of channel 2 and their liberal media and am ready to switch to channel 5, NBC. Sarah Palin should not have been part of that story and your even mentioning her is disgusting and hateful. This is not the time to talk about people that disagreed with Ms. Gifford unless you want to start spinning. Shame on you.

    • RJ

      Did you read this article you idiot? I’d say Sarah Palin’s use of phrases like, “Don’t retreat, reload” can only be seen as inflammatory and considering some of her ignorant followers, may be interpreted as call to literally reload their guns. Of course there is a connection. You’re disgusting in your stupid refusal to see that.

      • Special Forces

        So are you,people like you are the reason this country is in the sad situation,so zip it.

    • Milwaukee Lee

      No Sheila Wolverton, Sarah Palin is hateful and whether you believe it or not she has blood on her filthy hands.

      • Special Forces

        And you and people on the View,MNBC,lettrman,Hollywood and the bias,corrupt media are much more to blame,so zip it

  • Annette

    Oh shut up! This is what happens when people (Palin and crew) say such disgusting things. When you have a platform use it wisely. She is an hateful idiot! You must be a Republican!

    • Special Forces

      So are you,you proved it by your post FOOL.

  • Vicky

    The point is, a violent crime has been committed and the best some people can do is to drag politics into it. The guy that did it is just plain nuts! Politics aside, I hope everyone can pray or send positive thoughts to the survivors of this tragedy.

  • Vicky

    Unless Sarah Palin shot her, I don’t see what she had to do with the shooting.

  • kim

    Giffords was shot in the head and doctors said her outlook was “very optimistic.” ? No these azzholes need to get their facts straight! what was said was……. “I am about as optimistic as it can get in this situation,” Dr. Peter Rhee of the medical center said about Giffords’ prospects for recovery. He said she had been struck by one bullet, in the head, and that the bullet had passed through her brain.

  • Milwaukee Lee

    Yes Vicky , Sarah Palin might as well had pulled the trigger with all her violent talk, death panels, her target map, YES !! Sarah Palin, Sharon Angel, and Glen Beck have blood on their hands!!!!

    • Special Forces

      And I blame Obama and company for dividing this country like he has,put that in your pipe and smoke it FOOL.

  • Vernon Demerest

    Why is it that the Right Wing always wants to tear down government?

    • mike607

      Because people like SF seem to think that our government is “dividing this country” and they are incapable of any meaningful and respectful dialogue. People like SF are full of anger and incapable or controlling themselves. They don’t understand that people like Palin are using rhetoric to condone the heinous act that occurred today in AZ.

  • Southside

    I hope Sarah Palin wins in 2012 so all tea bagger hand jobs get the country they deserve.

  • peace keeper

    If it was completely turned around and a liberal politician told people to go shoot (reload) regarding a conservative politician’s view point/decisions… the repubs would go INSANE. they would want that person dead …

  • http://official-city.com/us-lawmaker-gravely-injured-in-shooting-6-dead US lawmaker gravely injured in shooting; 6 dead | Your City | Official-City.com

    […] than a dozen other people who were shot in a deadly attack in Arizona on Saturday. Read more on CBS Chicago Official-City on January 9th, […]

  • streamwood bill

    Countless commentators across media networks and kinds of media have repeatedly stated that Sarah Palin, Sharon Angle, Sean Hannity, Bill O’Reily and Rush Limbaugh’s direct provocations would lead to this gunning down of a Democratic politician.

    That is precisely what they were yelling and screaming for with their ‘apply 2nd. amendment remedy’s if those people were elected’ banter. Passing out posters with Giffords name, location and a snipers crosshairs on her with the advise from Sarah Palin, ‘We’ve diagnosed the problem… Help us prescribe the solution’. Sara Palin and other Tea Bag candidates with their minions were clearly calling for assassins to strike Gifford and kill her.

    Look at some of the moronic comments suggesting Sarah Palin placed Sniper Cross Hairs on Giffords Name, Location asking for help with the solution as not asking for a terminal solution!

  • streamwood bill

    Palin, Palin, Palin, look at your hands, that’s BLOOD !!!!!!!

  • streamwood bill

    SPECIAL FORCES, you are a low grade imbecile !

  • streamwood bill

    ….now I am going to go have some breakfast and move on…..but that Right Wing sure must feel uncomfortable right now. These things have a way of backfiring. Ham and Eggs please?

  • Andy

    On a personal level, my sympathies to the victims and their families. We will never know enough about the shooter to brand him as “nuts” or a “revolutionist”. On the brighter side, 2 points: (1) Jared-the-AZ-shooter may have “killed” the ubiquitous Subway Jared. (2) With the abundance of clowns flocking to politics nowadays, some of them may be discouraged from entering the very-lucrative field due to sudden danger to their meaningful lives.

  • John R

    Think about it…a 9-year old girl was murdered because her parents wanted to show her how this great country works.

  • CHICAGO3141

    The disturbed killer may have pulled the trigger
    but the NRA provided the concealed weapon

    Face the Nation TODAY taslked about heated rhetoric in the US
    nobOdy pointed a finger at the NRA

  • Enough Already!!!

    The liberals will put their own spin on this and that’s a fact. Hypocritical fools that have divided this country even further!!!! I like how all the dems will try to use this tragedy to further their own agends!!!

    • Agreed!!

      GREAT POINT!!! Anyone see the interview with this AZ sheriff??? Liberals need to go find the video and explain his “spin” on this matter!!!! Geeeeeeeeez, talk about an “agenda”!!!! Basically points the finger DIRECTLY @ Fox news and the Republicans!!

  • anti special forces

    1-fault or not sarah is hot and i’d do her anytime
    2-is the intent to inflame pyschos,i doubt it. does it maybe trigger a psycho to start an act of murder who knows. theyre so whacked out to start theres no one reason of blame
    3-202 is less than 2 years away and the tea bagger scan have thier beloved president sarah…can she see russia from 1600 pennsylvania?

  • mike607

    If the NRA had any brains (a far fetched idea, I know), they would be out in front making a very strong statement that delusional psychotics are not entitled to second amendment rights. But, no, the NRA believes that anybody, and I mean anybody, should be able to carry and use a gun.

    The second amendment is established law and wont be overturned, we all have to accept that. What we don’t have to accept, is that anybody should have the right to own a gun.

    • chicago3141

      bravo well said

      nut cases should not get gun rights

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