TPM News

Late Update: A spokesman for the hospital said reports that Giffords was awake were inaccurate.

Original: Rep. Gabrielle Giffords (D-AZ) was awake in her hospital room and recognized her husband, several media outlets reported late Saturday.

Giffords is now in critical condition in the intensive care unit and has been responding to doctors' commands, according to media reports.

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The man suspected of shooting Rep. Gabrielle Giffords (D-AZ) and 18 other people at an event in Tucson, Arizona today may not have acted alone, Pima County Sheriff Clarence Dupnik told reporters at a news conference this evening. Five people died at the scene of the shooting, and a nine-year old girl later died at a hospital.

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The House Sergeant at Arms Bill Livingood sent an e-mail to all House staff, informing them of safety measures being taken in the wake of the mass shootings that occurred today in Arizona that included Dem Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, who was shot in the head.

"At this time, there is no indication that this incident is part of any larger threat against Congress or has a nexus to terrorism," he wrote.

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A leader of a Tucson-area tea party group condemned the mass shooting in Arizona that included Rep. Gabriel Giffords (D-AZ), but told TPM that this doesn't mean her group is going to tone down their rhetoric: "I think anytime you start suppressing freedom of speech, I think it's wrong. I live here and I didn't hear anything [in the 2010 campaign] that concerned me in terms of inciting violence."

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Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-NY) was with Gabrielle Giffords on Wednesday, the first day of the 112th Congress. As the two waited to be sworn in, they talked shop -- and they even made tentative plans to meet up in Arizona for an upcoming event.

"I was telling her that I'd been invited to come out to Arizona for a sex trafficking conference, and that I was thinking about going and that I'd like to see her out there. She said, 'That's great,'" Maloney said in an interview Saturday night.

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Rep. Raul Grijalva (D-AZ) represents a district in southern Arizona adjacent to the one served by Gabby Giffords. Because the city of Tucson straddles the line separating those districts, they work together on common issues, including solar energy, green jobs, and making sure the federal government sends resources to the University of Arizona.

He was in Washington, D.C. this morning when his staff informed him that his colleague had been gunned down.

"The first reaction honestly was It's overblown, lets wait," Grijalva said in an interview Saturday evening. He, too, has been the target of political threats and has learned that most of the time those threats are more nerve-wracking than dangerous.

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Back in March 2010, Rep. Gabrielle Giffords (D-AZ) responded to the use of violent imagery and heated political rhetoric from conservative activists -- mentioning Sarah Palin's use of crosshairs on a map over Democratic-held districts such as hers. At the time, Giffords said that people should realize such rhetoric has consequences.

Giffords was shot today at a meet-and-greet with constituents in Tucson.

In March, Giffords appeared on MSNBC to talk about the then-recent vandalism of her office, which followed her vote for health care reform. During the interview, she said that political leaders had a responsibility to say they would not stand for violence.

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