Breaking: Arizona Rep. Gabrielle Giffords and Others Shot at Tucson Grocery

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4:00 p.m. MST: Federal Judge John Roll, of the United States District Court for the District of Arizona, killed in this morning's attacks, received death threats in 2009 during his involvement in an immigration-related lawsuit. 

Rep. Giffords's husband, Navy Captain and U.S. astronaut Mark Kelly arrived in Tucson from Houston, where he is training for the final April mission of the Space Shuttle Endeavor. The couple's December, 2007, wedding was covered in the New York Times's Vows section.

Kelly's twin brother, Scott Kelly, is currently a commander on the International Space Station.

Shooter Jared Loughner's YouTube channel remains posted, including a video titled "Final Thoughts."

3:00 p.m. MST: Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer stated in a press conference that she is heartbroken, and that Rep. Giffords is a friend. She asks the people of Arizona and America to keep the victims and their families in their prayers, pray for their recovery and that they never have to suffer such a tragedy in Arizona again. Gov. Brewer acknowledged risks for public figures.

2:50 p.m. MST: President Barack Obama spoke from the White House, stating that at least five people of the 18 shot died following the Tucson shooting, among them were Federal Judge John Roll and a young girl of barely nine years old.

Calling Rep. Giffords "as tough as they come," President Obama said that she is an extraordinary public servant, someone who is warm, caring and well-liked by her colleagues and constituents. Her husband Mark Kelly is a Navy captain and an astronaut. President Obama said that at the time of the shooting she was listening to her neighbors, the essense of what our democracy is all about. He said that during this tragedy for Arizona and the country, what Americans do in times of tragedy to support each other.

2:02 p.m. MST: Dr. Peter Rhee, Trauma Director at the University of Arizona Medical Center said in a televised press conference that the hospital received 10 patients following the shooting. One patient died, five were in critical condition in the operating room and four were in stable condition without life-threatenting injuries. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords is alive, Dr. Rhee said. Neurosurgeons have completed operating, she is responding to commands and at the time he is very optimistic about her recovery.

Dr. Rhee said that the person who died at the hospital was a young child of approximately nine years of age.

1:55 MST: Deputy Rich Kastigar of the Pima County Sheriff's Office identified the gunman as Jared Laughner, 22, in a press conference. Kastigar stated that the gun used was a pistol with an extended magazine. They do not know if Laughner acted alone, and are investigating how he arrived at the scene. Deputy Kastigar stated that there was a Federal employee who was very seriously injured, but did not identify this individual.

"This is a dynamic event. It is still evolving," Deputy Kastigar said, indicating that he did not want to release too many details. Another press event will occur at 6 p.m. CST.

1:17 MST: Speaker of the House John Boehner (R-OH) released this statement.

“I am horrified by the senseless attack on Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords and members of her staff.  An attack on one who serves is an attack on all who serve.  Acts and threats of violence against public officials have no place in our society.  Our prayers are with Congresswoman Giffords, her staff, all who were injured, and their families.  This is a sad day for our country."

12:47 MST: Tuscon's KOLD-TV is streaming live video -- currently confirming four dead, with Rep. Giffords in surgery.

12:40 MST: Darcy Slater, hospital spokeswoman, stated that Rep. Giffords was in surgery, and that an official briefing will be held at 1:30 CST.

12:33 MST: NPR is reporting that Rep. Giffords has died.

An unidentified shooter opened fire at an Arizona Safeway this morning, reportedly wounding Rep. Gabrielle Giffords (D-Az.) and several others.

Several outlets report that Rep. Giffords was shot in the head at point-blank range. An eyewitness on CNN reports that there are bodies lying in the street, but there is no confirmation so far on the number or condition of wounded.

Rep. Giffords announced this morning's Congress on Your Corner on Twitter.

Gabrielle Giffords

Rep. Giffords's 8th District is reported to be among the most politically competitive in a state where issues like immigration and health care have recently been hotly contested. Former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin included Rep. Giffords's district on a Take Back the 20 bullseye list before the 2010 midterm elections, and the congresswoman's office was vandalized in March after she voted for health care reform.

This story is developing.

Contributing Editor Laurie White writes at LaurieWrites. Her photos are on Flickr.

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