A Democrat Congresswoman in Arizona who has been the target of harassment and threats by right wingers was shot today while holding a meeting with her constituents. Other reports have that at least one person was killed, one of Rep. Giffords’ staff. Included in the injured were a Federal Judge, and local constituents participating in the meeting.
Reports at this time are conflicting as to whether Rep. Giffords was killed.
This comes on the heels of explosive packages being mailed to Maryland Officials and Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano bringing up memories of the Anthrax Murderer who mailed his packages just after the last time Republicans took the majority in Congress. That doesn’t say that Republicans have anything to do with it – but it does draw some parallels to the sort of overheated rhetoric we’ve seen from the Tea Baggers and Republicans – and attempted assassinations and murders.
It is unclear whether or not Police have apprehended the assassin in the Giffords case – so it is impossible at this time to determine motive.
Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, D-Ariz., was shot in the head and an unknown number of others were injured Saturday when an assailant sprayed bullets into an area where the lawmaker was meeting with constituents, congressional officials said.
Officials said one victim died soon after the attack, and others were taken to a nearby hospital. They identified the victim as an aide to the congresswoman.
There were conflicting reports on whether Giffords had died.
The officials said those injured included several of Gifford’s aides who were with her at the time.
The officials who described the events did so on condition of anonymity, saying they were not permitted to comment publicly.
FBI officials and local law enforcement were investigating the attack, which took place while Giffords was greeting constituents outside a Safeway grocery store.
Giffords, who was re-elected to her third term in November, was hosting her first “Congress on Your Corner” event in northwest Tucson, NPR reported.
Giffords, 40, is married to U.S. astronaut Mark Kelly. She took office in January 2007, emphasizing issues such as immigration reform, embryonic stem-cell research, alternative energy sources and a higher minimum wage. In November, she edged a tea party favorite.
The Arizona politician’s office had been vandalized last March just hours after the House vote overhauling the health care system, The New York Times reported.