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Truthout: Arizona Shooting Sets Off Debate on Violent Political Rhetoric


January 8, 2011- Rep. Gabrielle Giffords (D-Arizona) and seventeen others were shot Saturday after a gunman opened fire at a public event in Tucson, law-enforcement sources confirmed. Six people were killed, including a federal judge, an aide to Giffords and a nine-year-old girl.

The 40-year-old Arizona Democrat was shot in the head once at point-blank range and rushed to University Medical Center (UMC). During a press conference Sunday, Dr. Peter Rhee of the University of Arizona Medical Center said that she was out of surgery and in critical condition, but was awake and following commands. Rhee said that he was "very optimistic about recovery."

U.S. District Judge John Roll was among those killed at the scene of the shooting, U.S. Marshall David Gonzales confirmed to the Associated Press.
A number of national news organizations including CNN, NPR and Reuters reported prematurely that Giffords had died.

The shooting occurred during Giffords' "Congress on Your Corner" event in northwest Tucson, when a gunman ran up to the group and started shooting, according to Peter Michaels, news director of Arizona Public Media.

The shooter, identified as 22-year-old Jared Loughner, was tackled by a bystander and taken into custody. The FBI has said he was the only shooter; Loughner purchased his semi-automatic pistol legally in Tucson, the Washington Post reported.

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