Thursday, January 13, 2011

Mad Gunman Kills 6, Injures 14, Including US Rep Gabrielle Giffords

TUCSON (KGUN9-TV) - Officials at University Medical Center have confirmed that U.S. Rep Gabrielle Giffords is alive. She is out of surgery. Doctors are optimistic about her chances of recovery.

The news is a dramatic reversal of previous reports circulated on some national news cable channels and local media claiming that Giffords had died.

Giffords was among 18 people shot at the Saturday morning at the Safeway grocery store at Ina and Oracle in Tucson. Six people died. One shooter is in custody.

Dr. Peter Rhee of University of Medical center told reporters at 2:00 PM Saturday morning that ten patients have been brought to the hospital. Of those, one is dead, five are in surgery and the rest are in recovery. The five in surgery are in critical condition.

Dr. Rhee said the deceased victim was a child, but did not release the victim's identity.

The mass shooting took place Saturday morning at an event hosted by Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords.

Tucson Police Chief Roberto VillaseƱor confirmed at the same press conference that one suspect is in custody. Local authorities have not released the suspect's identity. Associated Press identified him as 22 year old Jared Loughner. A KGUN9 News crew went to Loughner's home, and found it taped off and covered with law enforcement investigators.

Before earlier this morning President Obama released this statement:

"This morning, in an unspeakable tragedy, a number of Americans were shot in Tuscon, Arizona, at a constituent meeting with Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords. And while we are continuing to receive information, we know that some have passed away, and that Representative Giffords is gravely wounded. We do not yet have all the answers. What we do know is that such a senseless and terrible act of violence has no place in a free society. I ask all Americans to join me and Michelle in keeping Representative Giffords, the victims of this tragedy, and their families in our prayers."

Here's a staement released by Homeland Security Secretary, Janet Napolitano:

"I am deeply saddened by reports that Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords, Chief Judge John Roll and others were attacked this afternoon in Tucson, Arizona. There is no place in our society or discourse for such senseless and unconscionable acts of violence. Gabby is a steadfast representative for southern Arizona and both she and John are dedicated public servants. The Department of Homeland Security has offered all possible assistance to the FBI and the Pima County Sheriff's Office, who are leading the investigation. My thoughts and prayers are with Congresswoman Giffords, her family and staff, and all those who were injured in this difficult time."

Tune in now to continuing coverage, now airing on KGUN9 News, or watch for updates.(source)

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