TUCSON, Ariz. – Rep. Gabrielle Giffords of Arizona was shot in the head Saturday when an assailant opened fire outside a grocery store during a meeting with constituents, killing a 9-year-old boy and a federal judge and wounding several others in a rampage that rattled the nation.
Giffords was among at least 10 people wounded, and the hospital said her outlook was "optimistic" and that she was responding to commands from doctors. The hospital said a 9-year-old child was among the killed, and a U.S. Marshal said a federal judge was also fatally shot in the attack.
Giffords spokesman C.J. Karamargin said an unspecified number of her staff members were injured in the shooting. Congressional officials said an aide to the Democrat was killed, but few details were released about the staff members.
Police say the shooter was in custody, and was identified by people familiar with the investigation as Jared Loughner, 22. Pima County Sheriff's officials said he used a pistol to carry out the rampage. U.S. officials who provided his name to the AP spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to release it publicly.