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[i]Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, 40, an Arizona Democrat married to veteran astronaut Mark Kelly, was shot in the head during a public meeting outside a Tucson supermarket Saturday. A dozen bystanders also were shot -- and some reportedly killed, including a 9-year-old child -- when a lone gunman allegedly opened fire.
Scheduled to command the shuttle Endeavour in April, Kelly immediately flew to Tucson from Houston, officials said. His twin brother Scott, in orbit commanding the International Space Station, was informed of the shooting by flight controllers at the Johnson Space Center.
Credit: Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords office
"She's in critical condition," said Peter Rhee, a surgeon at the University of Arizona trauma center where 10 gunshot victims were taken. "The neurosurgeons have finished operating on her and I can tell you ... I'm very optimistic about recovery."
He said he was optimistic "because she was following commands. She was shot one time, in the head, through and through. I can't tell you right now, obviously, for forensic purposes what direction (the bullet went). But she was shot through and through on one side of the head. It went through her brain."
Asked if he was optimistic about a full recovery, Rhee said "we cannot tell what kind of recovery, but I'm about as optimistic as it can get in this situation."
...the shooting occurred in front of a Safeway supermarket in Tucson where Giffords was hosting an event called "Congress on Your Corner" intended to let members of the 8th Congressional District to meet their congresswoman.
According to The New York Times, a former emergency room doctor who witnessed the shooting said the gunman approached Giffords from behind, "held a gun about a foot from her head and began firing."
"He must have got off 20 rounds," the witness told the Times. The gunman was tackled by bystanders and later was identified as Jared Laughner. Police said he used a pistol with an extended magazine.
Some initial media reports said Giffords was killed, but other officials later said she was alive, in surgery and in critical condition. By 4 p.m., officials were saying she was expected to survive, which Rhee later confirmed.[/i]
[i]This morning, in an unspeakable tragedy, a number of Americans were shot in Tuscon, 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.
We do not yet have all the answers. What we do know is that such a senseless and terrible act of violence has no place in a free society. I ask all Americans to join me and Michelle in keeping Representative Giffords, the victims of this tragedy, and their families in our prayers.[/i]
[i]We at NASA are deeply shocked and saddened by the senseless shooting of Representative Giffords and others at Saturday’s public event in Tucson. As a long-time supporter of NASA, Representative Giffords not only has made lasting contributions to our country, but is a strong advocate for the nation’s space program and a member of the NASA family.
She also is a personal friend with whom I have had the great honor of working.
We at NASA mourn this tragedy and our thoughts and prayers go out to Congresswoman Giffords, her husband Mark Kelly, their family, and the families and friends of all who perished or were injured in this terrible tragedy.[/i]
[i]I want to thank everyone for their thoughts and prayers, words of condolences and encouragement for the victims and their families of this horrific event. My sister-in-law, Gabrielle Giffords is a kind, compassionate, brilliant woman, loved by friends and political adversaries alike- a true patriot. What is going on in our country that such a good person can be the subject of such senseless violence? It's a sad day[/i]
[i]On behalf of Gabby and our entire family, I want to extend our heartfelt gratitude to the people of Arizona and this great nation for their unbelievable outpouring of support. Gabby was doing what she loved most – hearing from her constituents – when this tragedy occurred. Serving Southern Arizonans is her passion, and nothing makes her more proud than representing them in Congress.
Like all Americans, we mourn the loss of Gabe Zimmerman, a fine man and beloved member of Gabby’s team, Judge John M. Roll, Christina Taylor Green, Dorothy Morris, Phyllis Schneck, and Dorwan Stoddard. We must never forget them, and our prayers are with their families. Our hearts go out to everyone injured yesterday; we hope and pray for their quick recovery. We also extend our thanks and appreciation to all of the first responders, medical personnel, law enforcement, and Arizona citizens who acted swiftly yesterday and continue to assist our community through this tragedy. Many stories of heroism are emerging, and they are a source of strength for us during this difficult time. We are forever grateful.
Many of you have offered help. There is little that we can do but pray for those who are struggling. If you are inspired to make a positive gesture, consider two organizations that Gabby has long valued and supported: Tucson’s Community Food Bank and the American Red Cross.
Community Food Bank
3003 S Country Club Rd # 221
Tucson, AZ 85713-4084
American Red Cross, Southern Arizona Chapter
2916 East Broadway Boulevard
Tucson, AZ 85716
[i]I would like to take some time this morning to recognize a moment of silence in honor of the victims of the Tucson shooting tragedy. First though, I would like to say a few words.
We have a unique vantage point here aboard the International Space Station. As I look out the window, I see a very beautiful planet that seems very inviting and peaceful. Unfortunately, it is not.
These days we are constantly reminded of the unspeakable acts of violence and damage we can inflict upon one another, not just with our actions, but also with our irresponsible words.
We are better than this. We must do better.
The crew of ISS Expedition 26 and the flight control centers around the world would like to observe a moment of silence in honor of all the victims, which include my sister-in-law Gabrielle Giffords, a caring and dedicated public servant. Please join me and the rest of the ISS Expedition 26 crew in a moment of silence.[/i]
Since the tragic shooting in Tuscon, Arizona, on Saturday, Jan. 8, messages of support and well wishes have overwhelmed several communications paths at NASA.
As a result, [URL=http://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/station/main/sentiments.html]this site[/URL] has been created to provide a location where you can submit messages intended for Rep. Giffords’ husband, astronaut Mark Kelly, Commander of Space Shuttle Mission STS-134, and her brother-in-law, astronaut Scott Kelly, Commander of Expedition 26 aboard the International Space Station.
In recent statements, both thanked the public for the overwhelming messages of support they have received.
Please [URL=http://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/station/main/sentiments.html]send your message here[/URL]. Your comments will be displayed below and sent to Mark and Scott.
For cards or letters, the mailing address is:
Scott Kelly and/or Mark Kelly (please specify)
c/o Kelly Curtis, Mailcode: CB
NASA Johnson Space Center
2101 NASA Parkway
Houston, Texas 77058
If you have previously registered, but forgotten your password, click here.
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