What Happened: Arizona Rep. Gabrielle Giffords Shot, Several Others Killed

(NECN: Scot Yount) - Arizona congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords has been shot and critically injured. Police say she's among at least 12 people shot at a public event at a Safeway grocery store. At least five people are confirmed dead.

The shooting happened just after 10 a.m Mountain time. Giffords was holding a meeting with constituents at the local Safeway when the gunfire erupted.

U.S. Capitol police say the shooter is in custody.

Congresswoman Giffords was shot once in the head and likely will survive. The numbers have been difficult to confirm, but at least six people were killed, including a federal judge and a 9-year-old child.

At a news conference at the University of Arizona Medical Center, a doctor said Giffords is alive but in critical condition.

Giffords, who is 40 years old, represents the 8th district of Arizona in the House. She is married to space shuttle astronaut Mark Kelly, whom she married just last year. Giffords was first elected in 2006, then re-elected to her third term last November.

She has focused on immigration reform, military issues, stem-cell research and alternative energy during her time in congress. She has served on several congressional committees, including those covering the armed services and foreign affairs.

Jeff Rogers, who is chairman of the local Democrats in Pima County, Arizona, said Giffords is "a rising star" in the party with hopes of eventually winning the Arizona senate seat.

The alleged shooter is in custody at this time, and according to the Associated Press, his name is Jared Laughner.

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