Rep. Gabrielle Giffords Shot in Arizona
Several others also shot; hospital says congresswoman in surgery
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 8, 2011 1:10 PM CST
Updated Jan 8, 2011 2:40 PM CST
In this July 28, 2010 file photo, Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, D-Ariz., speaks during a news conference on Capitol Hill.   (AP Photo/Drew Angerer. File)
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(Newser) – Arizona congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords was shot in the head at close range today while hosting a public event outside a Tucson supermarket, reports NPR. Several other people also were shot, and the AP says at least one aide was killed. A hospital spokeswoman says Giffords is in surgery after conflicting media reports on whether she survived. Giffords, a 40-year-old Democrat, was hosting a "Congress on Your Corner" event and talking to constituents when shot. The gunman, reportedly a male in his early 20s, is in custody.

Giffords, who has been in Congress since 2006 and is Arizona's first Jewish representative, is married to astronaut Mark Kelly. (Click for that story.) In March of last year, her Tucson office was vandalized the same day the House voted on health care reform, notes the New York Times. It also reports that at a similar public event she hosted in 2009, police removed a protester whose gun fell on the supermarket floor. She was one of 20 House Democrats targeted with gun sights on Sarah Palin's election map. More updates here.