From the Globe. The shooter has apparently been captured alive, so we should know more soon. This is a huge escalation, but it's not really novel; Giffords has been targeted by teabaggers before:
An outspoken Democrat congresswoman was gravely wounded after an assassin opened fire with an assault rifle at grocery store in Tuscon, Ariz., on Saturday.
At least six others were injured in a burst of gunfire in what may be the first shooting of a federal politican since former president Ronald Reagan was shot two decades ago in Washington, D.C.
Gabrielle Giffords, 40, an Arizona congresswoman, was shot at close range in the head, according to eyewitnesses. She was greeting constituents at a grocery store. Some of her aides were reportedly among those wounded.
Last March, vandals stoned the front of Ms. Giffords' Tuscon office – one of several Democrat storefronts attacked – when at least 10 members of Congress reported death threats and attacks over the contentious health care reform bill that was the centerpiece of Mr. Obama’s first two years as president.The question is, how much longer will this go on?
Edited to add: There's a bit more information now. It seems that a total of 18 people were wounded in the shooting, several fatally, including a US federal judge as well as a nine year old child. There's some information about the suspect as well:
Giffords's assailant was last night named as a 22-year-old Afghanistan veteran Jared Lee Loughner. He was described by witnesses as a young white man who looked like a "fringe character", clean shaven with short hair and wearing dark clothing.Sounds a lot like Timothy McVeigh actually. PTSD and inflammatory rhetoric can be a bad mix it seems...