Video: Doctor: 'Optimistic' of Giffords' condition

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    >>> good afternoon, everyone. i'm amex whit here at nbc world headquarters. we're cutting into our program with breaking news. we're being told by various sources both npr as well as a local tucson newspaper that arizona congresswoman gabrielle giffords has been shot. we do not know the circumstances and details of how she was shot. we were told, however, that according to this one resource at pr she was holding a public event in tucson outside of a grocery store there. this is according to arizona public media . giffords was hosting her first congress on your corner event. it happened at the safeway in northwest tucson . apparently, according to these reports that nbc news has yet to confirm, a gunman ran up to her and started shooting. this is according to a news director from the arizona public media . we're also told at least five other people, including members of her own staff, have been hurt. gi giffor giffords' condition is not known. we have heard erroneous reports of the location of her shooting but we'll save that until i get confirmation from nbc news. she was talking to a couple, apparently, when the man ran up firing rather indiscriminately and then took off. we'll getting this again from the arizona public media . there are other witnesses who are coming forward. apparently the person who did the shooting was tackled by a bystander and then taken into custody. solet goes

NBC News and news services
updated 1/9/2011 12:32:00 AM ET 2011-01-09T05:32:00

Expression of sadness over the shooting Saturday of Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, D-Ariz., came swiftly Saturday from friends and colleagues in the political world. An assailant opened fire outside a grocery store as Giffords met with constituents, killing six people, including a federal judge and a 9-year-old child, and wounding several others in a rampage that rattled the nation.

President Barack Obama:
"A senseless and terrible act of violence has no place in a free society. It's not surprising that today Gabby was doing what she always does, listening to the hopes and concerns of her neighbors. That is the essence of what our democracy is about."

Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., while traveling in Colombia:
"I am horrified by the violent attack on Representative Gabrielle Giffords and many other innocent people by a wicked person who has no sense of justice or compassion. I pray for Gabby and the other victims, and for the repose of the souls of the dead and comfort for their families. I beg our loving Creator to spare the lives of those who are still alive, heal them in body and spirit, and return them to their loved ones. Whoever did this; whatever their reason, they are a disgrace to Arizona, this country and the human race, and they deserve and will receive the contempt of all decent people and the strongest punishment of the law."

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Janet Napolitano, Homeland Security secretary and former Democratic governor of Arizona:
"I am deeply saddened by reports that Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords, Chief Judge John Roll and others were attacked this afternoon in Tucson, Arizona. There is no place in our society or discourse for such senseless and unconscionable acts of violence. Gabby is a steadfast representative for southern Arizona and both she and John are dedicated public servants. The Department of Homeland Security has offered all possible assistance to the FBI and the Pima County Sheriff's Office, who are leading the investigation."

Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky:
"This senseless attack today in Tucson is a national tragedy, and all America mourns those who lost their lives in the very act of public service. I join the entire Congress in condemning this horrifying act of violence, and on behalf of the entire Senate family, Elaine and I extend our deepest expressions of sympathy and heartfelt prayers to Rep. Giffords and the families of those who have been killed or injured. The U.S. Capitol Police are joining local, state and federal officials in this investigation. We appreciate their quick response and stand ready to assist in their efforts."

Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer, Republican:
"All of Arizona is shocked and deeply saddened by the horrific tragedy that transpired this morning in Tucson. ... I am just heartbroken. Gabby is more than just a colleague, she is my friend. She has always been a noble public servant. My thoughts and prayers are with Congresswoman Giffords and her family, the congresswoman's staff and their families, as well as the other victims of this senseless and cruel violence."

Rep. Raul M. Grijalva, D-Ariz.:
"Gabrielle never let fear or intimidation prevent her from serving the people of Arizona. My thoughts and prayers are with Congresswoman Giffords, her husband, Mark, her staff, all those who were injured, and their families."

House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio:
"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. Our prayers are with Congresswoman Giffords, her staff, all who were injured, and their families. This is a sad day for our country."

Republican National Committee Chairman Michael Steele:
"Today's senseless act of violence is an attack on the American ideal and goes against our country's deeply held democratic values. My thoughts and prayers go out to the family of Representative Giffords and the families of all of those who were victims of this national tragedy."

Sen. Harry Reid, D-Nev.:
"I hope for a speedy recovery for the congresswoman and all of the wounded, and that those responsible will be brought to justice quickly. This is a sad day for our country, and acts of senseless violence such as this one affect us all. Congresswoman Giffords is one of our most dynamic members of Congress. As a representative of a neighboring state, I have watched her career closely and admired her work on behalf of the state of Arizona. I know she will be in the thoughts of every American — and in particular those who dedicate their lives to public service as she and her staff have."

Sarah Palin, former Republican vice presidential candidate and ex-governor of Alaska:
"My sincere condolences are offered to the family of Rep. Gabrielle Giffords and the other victims of today's tragic shooting in Arizona. On behalf of Todd and my family, we all pray for the victims and their families, and for peace and justice."

Chief Justice John Roberts:
"The violence in Arizona today has senselessly taken five lives and inflicted tragic loss on dedicated public servants and their families. We in the judiciary have suffered the terrible loss of one of our own. Chief Judge John Roll was a wise jurist who selflessly served Arizona and the nation with great distinction, as attorney and judge, for more than 35 years. I express my deepest condolences to his wife Maureen and his children, as well as the other victims and their families. Chief Judge Roll's death is a somber reminder of the importance of the rule of law and the sacrifices of those who work to secure it."

Rep. Emanuel Cleaver II, D-Mo.:
"I am shocked and devastated by the tragic events of this day. Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords is not only a colleague but a good friend, and the Congressional Black Caucus's thoughts and prayers are with her staff and her family during this horrific time. Even though we do not have all the answers yet, we are all too familiar with the violent and polarizing climate in which we live. There is no place in American society for such senseless and terrible acts of extreme violence. Those of us in leadership must be overly cautious of fanning the flames of extremism in hopes to prevent another horrendous tragedy such as this."

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House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, R-Va.:
"Our nation was shocked by the tragedy in Arizona earlier today. Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords, members of her staff, and others became the victims of a senseless act of violence. Congresswoman Giffords serves Arizona's 8th District with distinction and thoughtful leadership, and it is horrifying that she was exposed to such violence at an event designed to reach the people she represents. ... All legislation currently scheduled to be considered by the House of Representatives next week is being postponed so that we can take whatever actions may be necessary in light of today's tragedy."

Vice President Joe Biden:
Rep. Gabrielle Giffords "is a principled leader and a consensus-builder. She has spent her time in office working her heart out to improve the lives of the people she represents. And she loves her husband and family above all else. ... Chief Judge John Roll was a dedicated jurist whose death is a terrible loss to Arizona and to the country. We do not yet know the motivation behind these shootings. But what we do know is that there is simply no justification, no rationale for such senseless and appalling violence in our society."

Sen. Jon Kyl, R-Ariz.
"Caryll and I send our most heartfelt condolences to the family of Judge John Roll and the others who were killed and injured today in Tucson. Judge Roll, who presided over the federal District Court in Arizona, was an exceptional judge and a good friend. We pray for the recovery of Representative Giffords and the others who remain in critical condition. Congresswoman Giffords is also a good friend, and I find it especially saddening that such a heinous crime would occur while she was fulfilling her congressional responsibilities. All of us will work to ensure that justice will be served fully and swiftly."

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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