US congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords is amongst the victims of an attack during a campaigning event in Tucson, Arizona which has left six dead and 12 wounded.
Giffords, who was first elected to house in 2006 and represents the eighth district of Arizona in the US house of representatives, was shot in the head at close range and she is now fighting for her life.
In a statement issued by the White House, President Barack Obama said: “This morning, in an unspeakable tragedy, a number of Americans were shot in Tuscon, Arizona, at a constituent meeeting with Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords.
“And while we continue 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.”
The gunman, who carried out the attack with an automatic weapon and is now in custody, has been identified as Jared Laughner.
When Gifford’s office was vandalised in 2009 during the health care debate, John Boehner, Speaker of the House of Representatives, told Fox News: “Violence and threats are unacceptable. That’s not the American way. We need to take that anger
and channel it into positive change.”
Speaking about the incident today, he expressed the same sentiment: “An attack on one who serves is an attack on all who serve. ”
“Acts and threats of violence against public officials have no place in our society.”
Read here about the mysterious death of John P. Wheeler.
Images: Wikimedia Commons and giffordsforcongress.com