Updated Jan. 9: Gabrielle Giffords, a Democratic congresswoman from Arizona, is in critical condition after a gunman's bullet passed through her brain. She is responding to doctors' commands, and they have "guarded optimism" that she will survive. Unfortunately, six others did not survive the melee when a gunman opened fire during a meeting with constituents that Giffords was holding in the parking lot of a Tuscon supermarket. Among those killed were 9-year-old Christina Greene, 30-year-old Gifford aide Gabe Zimmerman, U.S. District Judge John Roll, 76-year-old Dorthy Murray, 76-year-old Dorwin Stoddard and 79-year-old Phyllis Scheck. Twelve others were injured in the shooting. A suspect, 22-year-old Jared Loughner, is in custody. Police had been searching for a possible accomplice, but the person they were looking for turned out to be a cab driver who authorities have deemed to be innocent of wrongdoing.
The Pima County sheriff, Clarence Dupnik, blamed heated political rhetoric and an atmosphere of intolerance, especially in Arizona. "We have become the mecca for prejudice and bigotry," he said. According to Associated Press, Giffords, 40, is a moderate Democrat who narrowly won re-election in November against a Tea Party candidate who sought to throw her out of office over her support of health care reform.
REPORTED EARLIER: At 2:46 p.m., Good Morning America tweeted that Mark Kelly, Giffords' husband, confirmed on KGUN9, a local ABC affiliate in Tucson, that she was still in surgery.
CNN reported that a law-enforcement official had confirmed that she was dead but then updated its story to say she was shot. The Huffington Post also reported that she had died, and then updated its story.
The motives for the shooting are currently unknown.
The total count for wounded victims has been updated since the original version was posted.