Rightwing extremist strikes killing Dem congresswomans aide & 3 others.
At this point Rep Giffords is still alive although she was shot in the head. From AZ CBS:
Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, D-Ariz., and several others were shot in Pima County near Tucson today.
At least four people are confirmed dead at the scene, including an aide to Rep. Giffords.
Initial reports by CBS Affiliate KOLD that the Congresswoman was among the fatalities were corrected by her press people, who told KOLD that she is alive but in surgery.
“She is currently in surgery. She is still alive,” said Darcy Slaten, Public Affairs, University Medical Center in Tucson.
Eight others are being treated at the hospital as well.
The assailant reportedly sprayed bullets into an area where the Democratic lawmaker was hosting a “Congress on Your Corner” event at a Safeway supermarket.
A law enforcement source told CBS News that a man apparently stood up in the crowd during the town hall meeting, shouted something and then opened fire. Someone – possibly police or security – then shot at the gunman.
The gunman has been apprehended but it is unknown if he were wounded.
CBS News has learned that seven people are in the emergency room.
Giffords, 40, who just started her third term in Congress, was reelected in November after defeating Republican and Tea Party favorite Jesse Kelly by a margin 49 percent to 47 percent.
According to several sources the killer was a big Teabagger supporter. According to this DKos blogpost, courtesy of MadMikesAmerica, Kelly held a rally where he allowed his supporters to fire a fully automatic M16.
Sarah Palin has a warped connection too:
Palin’s Facebook page now carries a map featuring 20 gun sights, one for each of the Democrats targeted this year by her political action committee SarahPAC. Three of the gun sights, those where incumbent Democrats have already announced their retirement, are colored red.
Her husband is an astronaut, who was scheduled to go up in the near future.
Update: 3:42 PM ET Sheriff’s Dept: 18 Shot, 6 Dead, Giffords ‘Gravely’ Wounded
Richard J. Kastigar, the bureau chief for the Pima County Sheriff’s Department, tells CNN that 18 individuals were shot and six are dead. He adds that Giffords is “gravely” wounded. She is responding to commands after coming out of surgery.