U.S. Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords (D-AZ) was shot point blank in the head on Saturday in a shooting at a grocery store where she was meeting constituents. Surgeons are “very optimistic” about her recovery, reports the Arizona Daily Star. Arizona Chief U.S. District Judge John Roll was among the dead. Sheriffs authorities said there were six dead, including a child, as well as 18 wounded.
The shooting occurred at a Safeway supermarket where Giffords was holding one of her regular “Congress on Your Corner” events, which allows her to speak directly with constituents in her district. The gunman has been identified as 22-year-old Jared Loughner, who the Star said had posted “nonsensical postings on social-media sites, complaining about illiteracy in Congressional District 8 as well as rants about currency.” In a similar Giffords event in 2009, a protester was removed by police when his pistol fell on the supermarket floor. This was her first event since her re-election to a third term in November. Giffords, 40, was talking to a couple in the store when a gunman rushed her, shouting as he fired his weapon.