Fate of congresswoman unclear after Arizona shooting (Second Lead)

Saturday, January 8, 2011

WASHINGTON - The status of US Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords after a shooting Saturday morning remained unclear, with conflicting media reports as to whether she was dead or in surgery for her injuries.

Giffords was attending a citizen’s outreach event in Tucson, in the US state of Arizona, when a man approached her and a couple to whom she was speaking and, reportedly, fired 15-20 shots, hitting Giffords in the head and wounding at least 12 people.

US broadcaster NPR had reported earlier in the day that Giffords and six others were dead, but has now updated its website to say that she has been injured. Other US media outlets have done the same.

Initial reports also said the shooter had been taken into custody. He was described as being in his late teens or early 20s.

Giffords, 40, is a native of Tucson and has been in office since 2007. It is not unusual for members of the US legislature to attend citizen’s events in their home districts during weekend breaks from Congress with little or no special security.

Giffords is married to Mark Kelly, an astronaut with the US space programme NASA, who is scheduled to captain the last flight of a space shuttle mission, scheduled for April.

Filed under: Accidents and Disasters

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