Congresswoman in surgery after being shot

Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, D-Ariz. Photo courtesy AP.
Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, D-Ariz. Photo courtesy AP.
Photo courtesy CNN
Photo courtesy CNN

TUCSON, AZ (RNN) - U.S. Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords, D-AZ, was shot at point-blank range at a public event in Tucson, AZ.

Six people were injured and five were killed, including one of Gifford's staff members, when a lone gunman opened shots.

According to Darci Slaten, University Medical Center public affairs officer, Gifford's death has not been confirmed.

"She is alive and in surgery right now," Slaten said.

Earlier, CNN and Fox News had both confirmed Giffords' death.

The third-term congresswoman was reportedly shot in the head, according to the "Tucson Citizen."
The shooting happened just after 10 a.m. at the Safeway on Ina and Oracle, Pima County Sheriff's Department spokesman Jason Ogan said.

Giffords was hosting a "Congress on Your Corner" event at a local Safeway grocery store.

The injured were taken to University Medical Center (UMC) in Tucson.

Darci Slaten confirmed that five to seven patients have been admitted.

Slaten said there were initially four fatalities, but would not confirm the identities.

Speaker of the House John Boehner, R-OH, said that he was horrified by the 'senseless' attack on Giffords and her staff.

"An attack on one who serves is an attack on all who serve," he said. "Acts and threats of violence against public officials have no place in our society. Our prayers are with Congresswoman Giffords, her staff, all who are injured and their families. This is a sad day for our country."

Representative Giffords, D-Arizona, has served Arizona's eighth district in Congress since 2007.

Copyright 2010 Raycom News Network. All rights reserved. KOLD contributed to this report.