News / USA

    Arizona Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords Shot at Public Event

    Emergency workers gather at the scene of a shooting involving Democratic Representative Gabrielle Giffords of Arizona at a Safeway grocery store in Tucson, Democrat, 8 Jan 2010
    Emergency workers gather at the scene of a shooting involving Democratic Representative Gabrielle Giffords of Arizona at a Safeway grocery store in Tucson, Democrat, 8 Jan 2010

    Multimedia

    Audio
    Nico Colombant

    Arizona congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords, 40, has been shot at a public event on Saturday in her home state.  Several others were killed, including a federal judge and a 9-year-old girl.

    The director of trauma surgery at the University of Arizona hospital, where Giffords was taken, said he is optimistic about her recovery.

    FBI agents were rushed to the shooting scene near a Safeway grocery store in northwest Tucson, where Democratic Congresswoman Giffords was hosting a public event to speak with her constituents.

    Witnesses say a gunman ran up and fired off 15 to 20 shots.  They say the young man shot the congresswoman in the head, before trying to run off.

    Reaction to the Shooting of Representative Giffords

    President Barack Obama

    "This morning, in an unspeakable tragedy, a number of Americans were shot in Tucson, 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. (More...)

    Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives John Boehner

    "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.  (More...)

    But witnesses say he was tackled by a bystander, and taken into custody.

    President Barack Obama released a statement at the White House saying the shooting was a senseless and terrible act of violence that has no place in a free society.    

    Right before the shooting, the congresswoman for Arizona’s 8th congressional district had used the micro-blogging site Twitter to write that her first so-called “Congress on Your Corner” event was starting.  She asked people to let her know what was on their mind.

    Giffords was re-elected to her third term in November.  Her office was among the politicians whose offices were targeted with vandalism and threats during the health care debate in 2009.

    Republican lawmakers who won a majority of seats in the House of Representatives have called for a repeal of the health care reform signed into law by President Obama last year.

    Giffords was also one of the lawmakers who was targeted on a map with simulated gun sights for supporting the health care bill on a website run by a political action committee supporting former Republican Vice Presidential candidate Sarah Palin.

    Heated political debates in Arizona, which is on the border with Mexico, have also recently taken place around the issue of illegal immigration.

    In an interview with C-Span television, Congresswoman Giffords gave some of her biography and explained why she had gotten into politics.

    “I am a third generation southern Arizonian and I went off to school, was working for Price Waterhouse in New York City, and was asked to come home to run my family's  tire and automotive business," said Giffords.  "I first got involved with politics because I was frustrated when I was opening up my newspaper every single morning and seeing my great state of Arizona continuing to be at the bottom, whether it be poor-people funding, or mental health funding, or making sure that we could preserve our beautiful open spaces and in life you can either complain about something or you can try to fix it so I decided to run for political office.”

    Giffords recently married astronaut Mark Kelly.

    You May Like

    Clinton, Trump and the 'Woman’s Card'

    Ask supporters of Democratic front-runner in US presidential campaign, and they’ll tell you Republican presidential candidate is playing a dangerous hand

    Russian Censorship Group Seeks Chinese Help to Better Control Internet

    At recent Safe Internet League forum in Moscow, speakers from both nations underscored desire for authorities to further limit and control information online

    Video Makeshift Pakistani School Helps Slum Kids

    Free classes in Islamabad park serve a few of the country’s nearly 25 million out-of-school youths; NGO cites ‘education crisis’

    This forum has been closed.
    Comments
         
    There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Turkish Kurd Islamist Rally Stokes Tensionsi
    X
    April 29, 2016 12:28 AM
    In a sign of the rising power of Islamists in Turkey, more than 100,000 people recently gathered in Diyarbakir, the main city in Turkey’s predominantly Kurdish southeast, to mark the birthday of the Prophet Muhammad. The gathering highlighted tensions with the pro-secular Kurdish nationalist movement. Dorian Jones reports from Diyarbakir.
    Video

    Video Turkish Kurd Islamist Rally Stokes Tensions

    In a sign of the rising power of Islamists in Turkey, more than 100,000 people recently gathered in Diyarbakir, the main city in Turkey’s predominantly Kurdish southeast, to mark the birthday of the Prophet Muhammad. The gathering highlighted tensions with the pro-secular Kurdish nationalist movement. Dorian Jones reports from Diyarbakir.
    Video

    Video Pakistani School Helps Slum Kids

    Master Mohammad Ayub runs a makeshift school in a public park in Islamabad. Thousands of poor children have benefited from his services over the years, but, as VOA's Ayesha Tanzeem reports, roughly 25 million school-age youths don't get an education in Pakistan.
    Video

    Video Florida’s Weeki Wachee ‘Mermaids’ Make a Splash

    Since 1947, ‘mermaids’ have fascinated tourists at central Florida’s Weeki Wachee Springs State Park with their fluid movements and synchronized ballet. Performing underwater has its challenges, including cold temperatures and a steady current, as VOA’s Lin Yang and Joseph Mok report.
    Video

    Video Somali, African Union Forces Face Resurgent Al-Shabab

    The Islamic State terror group claimed its first attack in Somalia earlier this week, though the claim has not been verified by forces on the ground. Meanwhile, al-Shabab militants have stepped up their attacks as Somalia prepares for elections later this year. Henry Ridgwell reports there are growing frustrations among Somalia’s Western backers over the country’s slow progress in forming its own armed forces to establish security after 25 years of chaos.
    Video

    Video Bangladesh Targeted Killings Spark Wave of Fear

    People in Bangladesh’s capital are expressing deep concern over the brutal attacks that have killed secular blogger, and most recently a gay rights activist and an employee of the U.S. embassy. Xulhaz Mannan, an embassy protocol officer and the editor of the country’s only gay and transgender magazine Roopban; and his friend Mehboob Rabbi Tanoy, a gay rights activist, were hacked to death by five attackers in Mannan’s Dhaka home earlier this month.
    Video

    Video Documentary Tells Tale of Chernobyl Returnees

    Ukraine this week is marking the 30th anniversary of the world's worst nuclear accident, at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant. Soviet officials at first said little about the accident, but later evacuated a 2,600-square-kilometer "exclusion zone." Some people, though, came back. American directors Holly Morris and Anne Bogart created a documentary about this faithful and brave community. VOA's Tetiana Kharchenko reports from New York on "The Babushkas of Chernobyl." Carol Pearson narrates.
    Video

    Video Nigerians Feel Bite of Buhari Economic Policy

    Despite the global drop in the price of oil, Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari has refused to allow the country's currency to devalue, leading to a shortage of foreign exchange. Chris Stein reports from Lagos businessmen and consumers are feeling the impact as the country deals with a severe fuel shortage.
    Video

    Video  Return to the Wild

    There’s a growing trend in the United States to let old or underused golf courses revert back to nature. But as Erika Celeste reports from one parcel in Grafton, Ohio, converting 39 hectares of land back to green space is a lot more complicated than just not mowing the fairway.
    Video

    Video West Urges Unity in Libya as Migrant Numbers Soar

    The Italian government says a NATO-led mission aimed at stemming the flow of migrants from Libya to Europe could be up and running by July. There are concerns that the number of migrants could soar as the route through Greece and the Balkans remains blocked. Western powers say the political chaos in Libya is being exploited by people smugglers — and they are pressuring rival groups to come together under the new unity government. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
    Video

    Video Russia’s TV Rain Swims Against Tide in Sea of Kremlin Propaganda

    Russia’s media freedoms have been gradually eroded under President Vladimir Putin as his government has increased state ownership, influence, and restrictions on critical reporting. Television, where most Russians get their news, has been the main target and is now almost completely state controlled. But in the Russian capital, TV Rain stands out as an island in a sea of Kremlin propaganda.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora