The AP on the horrific news from Arizona:
Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, D-Ariz., was shot in the head and an unknown number of others were wounded Saturday when
an assailant opened fire in an area where the lawmaker was meeting with constituents in Tucson, congressional officials said.
These officials said one of the victims died soon after the attack, and others were taken to a nearby hospital.
The officials said the wounded included some of Gifford's aides who were with her at the time. One official added the attack was carried out with an automatic weapon.
There's contradictory information about Giffords' status. As of 2:30 pm ET, sources told NBC News that she's in surgery and critical condition. But around 3:00 pm ET, the AP quoted someone from Giffords' office saying the congresswoman passed away.
Giffords first won her congressional seat in the Democratic wave in 2006, and she narrowly won re-election in the GOP wave last November against Tea Party-backed candidate Jesse Kelly, 49%-47%.
Giffords voted for the health-care legislation, as well as the cap-and-trade bill. But she voted against the stimulus.
McCain won her congressional district over Obama in 2008, 52%-46%.
*** UPDATE 4:00 pm ET *** At a press conference, it was revealed that Giffords is not dead. She is in critical condition. out of Surgery.
One patient dead is a child.