UPDATES: Obama Speaks/ Alleged Shooter Named/ CONGRESSWOMAN GABRIELLE GIFFORDS FIGHTING FOR LIFE AFTER SURGERY AT UMC
The Pima County Sheriff’s office said that five others including a child had died, and a total of 18 people were injured.
The alleged gunman’s age is said to be 21 or 22 years old. He was said to be carrying a gun with an extended bullet clip, meaning far more than the usual bullets than held by a standard ammo clip.
Again, these are reports in the fog of aftermath, and all numbers and conditions may change or be verified or not.
/>According to reporters at the scene in Arizona, a 21 year old male is being held in custody.
The scene was a sunny ‘street corner Congress,’ held in the shopping center lot in front of the local Safeway grocery store about 3 miles outside Tucson. The shooter’s bullets penetrated into the store. There were at least 12 persons shot and they were airlifted by Life Flight helicopters.
Mark Kelly is the husband of Congresswoman Giffords. He is an astronaut, and was this morning on his way to Edwards AFB and is in transit, returning.
Assaulting, injuring or killing a Congressperson carries the same weight as an assault on a President. The FBI has immediate jurisdiction and will be the lead agency working with state and city authorities for this sad investigation.
Congresswoman was seen by some as a conservative Democrat, “not a firebrand, was conciliatory, and popular with Democrats and also with many Republicans in her district,” according to CNN reporter on the scene who had interviewed several persons at the scene who identified themselves as Republicans.
“A horrible scene in a typical place,” said one reporter.
At University Medical Center, the Congresswoman is in surgery after having been shot point blank in the head.
It is reported by UMC that one child is in critical condition, as well as eight others, some of whom are said to be staff persons of Congresswoman Giffords.
All nine brought to UMC are in surgery at the moment according to Public Information spokeswoman for University Medical Center at Tucson at 1:00 pm Tucson time, which is Mountain Standard Time. We have not yet heard from any other hospital where the other victims were taken.
Families of the wounded are being notified, and the general courtesy of notifying families first, means that there will be more info released in the next hour or two as contact is made with loved ones.
There are conflicting reports saying that six persons have died. As usual around a tragedy, there is a fog of disinformation and rumor. Stay tuned and several of us here at TMV will attempt to verify as the facts come in.
House Speaker John Boehner said this morning: ?
“I am horrified… An attack on one who serves is an attack on all who serve.”
It is likely that congresspersons and senators will be reassessing their own security details as we speak.
There is also a screed begun online against Congresswoman Giffords that is not even worthy of more than mention.
Prayers all around.