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Ed Driscoll

Horrific: Arizona Congresswoman Shot, Federal Judge Killed

January 8th, 2011 - 11:15 am

Gabrielle Giffords, a 40-year old Arizona Democrat “was among as many as 12 people wounded in a shooting at a Tucson, Ariz., grocery store where she was holding a campaign event,” ABC News reports:

ABC affiliate KGUN-TV in Tucson reported that as many as 12 people had been shot, including Giffords.

Sources said Giffords had been shot in the head.

She was taken to University Medical Center where a hospital spokesman confirmed she was alive. But the extent and seriousness of her injuries are unknown.

A law enforcement source told KGUN that the shooter was in custody.

Reuters has since tweeted that the congresswoman later passed away. Other reports are saying that six other people have died in the incident, and several injured.

The Anchoress notes that it hasn’t taken long for this story to become politicized, and has background details on Giffords:

It is appalling to note that some on the social media circuits are already letting the conspiracy theories fly according to their agendas – some on the left are already tweeting about Sarah Palin and gun imagery and some are not beneath bringing the full-crazy and wondering if this was done purposely to blame Palin. [QED--Ed] Not the time, folks. It’s kind of disgusting when you hear someone is shot and the first thing you do is try to figure out how to fit the terrible news to your political worldview. Blame the gunman.

I do wish the CNN anchor would learn how to pronounce her name. Can he not figure out Gabrielle? Giffords is the only member of congress married to an active member of the military, astronaut Mark Kelly; they have two children.

Here’s Giffords’ Wikipedia page and Kelly’s; more on the shooting as it comes in.

Update (11:36 PST): I’ve amended the headline; Reuters is now saying that Giffords is still in surgery, and alive.

Update (12:21 PM PST): Glenn Reynolds adds:

And judging from the comments to this post, people are already trying to score political points. Well, they kind of telegraphed this strategy, didn’t they? Remember Bloomberg making a fool of himself by blaming the Times Square bombing on the Tea Party? How about waiting until we actually know something, this time? That’s likely to be soon enough.

President Obama’s office has released the following 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.

Speaker Boehner’s office adds 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.

From Sarah Palin:

My sincere condolences are offered to the family of Rep. Gabrielle Giffords and the other victims of today’s tragic shooting in Arizona.

On behalf of Todd and my family, we all pray for the victims and their families, and for peace and justice.

Update (12:49 PST): Found via Cassy Fiano, who has regular updates on the shooting, “Federal Judge John M. Roll killed in Arizona attack, NBC News reports.”

Meanwhile, Paul Krugman of the New York Times goes all in; the Daily Kos fires up the airbrush.

Update (1:04 PM PST): Suspect identified, Business Insider reports:

AP and NBC are reporting that the shooter is named Jared Laughner and is an Arizona native.

Some have reported, including Fox News, that Laughner was an Afghanistan war veteran.

His age is either 21 or 22.

The Washington Post confirms Laughner’s name, but has little on his background as of now.

MSNBC reports, “Surgeon says he’s ‘optimistic’ for congresswoman’s survival after shooting.”

Update (1:25 PM PST): Blogger Bookworm Room on apparent YouTube page of the suspect:

Judging by his YouTube channel, choice (a), above (i.e., crazy) may be the correct identifier for Laughner.  In the 1950s, he would have been talking about Martians and mind control.  In the 1700s, he would have been concerned about witches and the devil.  This video is more evidence of his profound reality disconnect.  Also, from his YouTube site, check out some of the books that informed his reality (emphasis mine):

Books:
I had favorite books: Animal Farm, Brave New World, The Wizard Of OZ, Aesop Fables, The Odyssey, Alice Adventures Into Wonderland, Fahrenheit 451, Peter Pan, To Kill A Mockingbird, We The Living, Phantom Toll Booth, One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest, Pulp,Through The Looking Glass, The Communist Manifesto, Siddhartha, The Old Man And The Sea, Gulliver’s Travels, Mein Kampf, The Republic, and Meno.

The suspect’s last name is apparently Loughner, not Laughner as was originally reported; Ben Smith of the Politico has more: “Alleged shooter left social media hints.” Ed Morrissey collates and embeds the videos posted under Loughner’s name at Hot Air.

Update (1:45 PST): Mark Knoller of CBS tweets, “Hospital says neurosurgeons have finished operating on Giffords and are optimistic about her recovery.”

Update (2:00 PST): Scroll down to the bottom of this Doug Ross post for a possible photo of the suspect.

Gov. Brewer orders Arizona flags to half staff.

Michelle Malkin has a lengthy round-up of news on both the shooting and the spin from the left.

Late Update: At “Putting the Narrative Before the Horse,” I look at a much earlier example of the media rushing to create a narrative, no matter that it didn’t the facts of a shooting incident that left one official dead and another critically wounded. Additional updates and opinion on Saturday’s incident will appear in separate posts on the blog. And stop by the Pajamas homepage for additional reaction from other PJM bloggers.

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