Congressional officials say Rep. Gabrielle Giffords was shot in the head and an aide was killed Saturday when a gunman opened fire as the Arizona congresswoman met with constituents outside a Tucson grocery story.
Doctors at University Medical Center is Tuscon say Giffords is out of surgery and is responding to commands.
She was shot once in the head and the bullet went through her head.
The officials say a 18 other people were injured, including other members of the lawmaker's staff.
Six people have died. The victims have been taken to a nearby hospital. A hospital official says Giffords is alive but in critical condition.
U.S. Capitol Police say a shooter is in custody.
President Barack Obama calls the shooting "an unspeakable tragedy" and that such "a senseless and terrible act of violence has no place in a free society."
The gunman in Giffords' shooting has been identified as Jared Laughner.
One official added the attack was carried out with an automatic weapon.
The officials who described the event did so on condition of anonymity, saying they were not permitted to comment publicly.
They say the FBI and local law enforcement are investigating the
Giffords had just begun her third term. The 40-year-old democrat
was reelected in November, edging out a Tea Party favorite.
She was a member of the Arizona House and Senate before coming to Washington.
Information from the Associated Press included in this report.
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