Public officials react to Tucson shooting

Gabrielle Giffords was shot at an event in Tuscon, Arizona on Saturday. (AP image)

January 9, 2011 6:00:10 AM PST
Public officials from all over the country are condeming the violent shootings in Tucson, Arizona that wounded Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, and killed Federal Judge John Roll and five other people. President Barack Obama
    "What Americans do at times of tragedy is to come together and support each other, so at this time I ask all Americans to join me and Michelle in keeping all the victims and their families, including Gabby, in our thoughts and prayers. Those who have been injured, we are rooting for them. And I know Gabby is as tough as they come and I am hopeful that she is going to pull through. Obviously our hearts go out to the family members of those who've been slain. We also know that at least 5 people lost their lives in this tragedy among them were Federal Judge John Roll who has served America's legal system for almost 40 years and a young girl who was barely 9 years old."

House Speaker John Boehner
    "I am horrified by the senseless attack on Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords and members of her staff," "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."

NASA Administrator Charles Bolden
    "We at NASA are deeply shocked and saddened by the senseless shooting of Representative Giffords and others at Saturday's public event in Tucson. As a long-time supporter of NASA, Representative Giffords not only has made lasting contributions to our country, but is a strong advocate for the nation's space program and a member of the NASA family. She also is a personal friend with whom I have had the great honor of working. We at NASA mourn this tragedy and our thoughts and prayers go out to Congresswoman Giffords, her husband Mark Kelly, their family, and the families and friends of all who perished or were injured in this terrible tragedy."

Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee
    "The people of Houston owe a great debt of gratitude to Congresswoman Giffords who actively supported the survival of NASA, NASA Johnson and the Human Space Exploration Program. She is a fighter for what she believes in and represents her constituents with great dignity and commitment. May God be with her, her constituents and the families of those who lost their lives."

US Representative Ted Poe
    "I cannot express my sadness over the today's shooting. Gabby is not only a colleague, but a close friend. My prayers are with her family and the loved ones of those that needlessly lost their lives today. As for the person that committed this heinous crime, I hope that justice is swift and punishment is harsh."

Vice Presient Joe Biden
    The horrific attack in Tucson, Arizona, this morning has taken the lives of at least five people, including a federal judge and a young girl, and left many others wounded, among them a dear friend, Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords. Gabby is one of the finest members of Congress I know. She 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. On this tragic day, Jill and I are praying for Gabby's recovery, and we hold her family in our hearts. 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. Please join Jill and me in praying for each of today's victims and for their families and loved ones.

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."

Homeland Secretary Janet Napolitano
    "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. My thoughts and prayers are with Congresswoman Giffords, her family and staff, and all those who were injured in this difficult time."

Attorney General Eric Holder
    "Today's tragedy in Arizona was a senseless act of violence that has already resulted in devastating loss, including the death of Chief United States District Court Judge John Roll and four other individuals and the wounding of Representative Gabrielle Giffords and a number of others. All of those who were killed or injured and their families are in our thoughts and prayers. "As the President said, FBI Director Mueller is traveling to Arizona to help coordinate the investigation. The FBI is working jointly with local law enforcement to investigate today's events, and I have directed Department prosecutors and law enforcement officials to use every resource necessary to investigate this tragedy. I want to assure the people of Arizona and every American that we will hold accountable anyone responsible for these heinous acts."

Arizona Governor Jan Brewer
    "All of Arizona is shocked and deeply saddened by the horrific tragedy that transpired this morning in Tucson. "I have been in contact throughout the morning with law enforcement officials, as well as Tucson mayor Bob Walkup, and just a short while ago I spoke personally with President Obama. The President conveyed his heartfelt sympathies for our State, and our shared determination to ensure that justice is fully served. "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, and well as the other victims of this senseless and cruel violence."

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell
    "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."

Rep. Michael McCaul
    "This is a tragic day for Gabrielle and her family, the Congress and for the United States. While the circumstances of this event are not yet clear, violence such as this cannot and will not be tolerated by the American people. Gabrielle is a friend. We have worked together on many legislative issues before the Science and Technology Committee including NASA and Solar energy. She has done an outstanding job representing the interests of her district in Arizona and the nation. My thoughts and prayers are with Gabrielle, her family and others who were savagely shot today including members of her staff."

Sen. John Cornyn
    "My prayers go out to Rep. Gifford, her family, staff and all those affected by this horrific tragedy. I hope those responsible for this senseless crime will be brought to justice as swiftly as possible."

Rep. Pete Olson
    "I was shocked to hear the terrible news that Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, and several others, including members of her staff, were shot today. Gabby is married to astronaut Mark Kelly, so this news is especially tough on the NASA community and the astronaut corps at the JSC. Gabby is a friend and devoted public servant who was in the process of serving her constituents when this tragedy occurred. My prayers go out to Gabby, Mark and their family, as well as all of the victims and their families."

Rep. Eric Cantor
    "I was deeply horrified to learn today of the shooting of Representative Gabrielle Giffords and others in Tucson. Our thoughts and prayers are with Congresswoman Giffords and her family, her staff, and the residents of Tucson on this sad day. As this serious situation continues to develop, I remain in close communication with leaders of both parties, the Speaker's office and the Sergeant at Arms. We will remain in constant communication regarding any schedule changes."

Capitol Police
    The United States Capitol Police are directly involved in the ongoing investigation regarding the shooting of Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords in Arizona. We are currently working with Federal, state and local law enforcement agencies. While the United States Capitol Police does not specifically discuss the security of Members of Congress including details on our protective measures, the United States Capitol Police has communicated with House Members of Congress advising them to take reasonable and prudent precautions regarding their personal safety and security. The United States Capitol Police remains at a high level of readiness, consistent with our operating conditions on U.S. Capitol Grounds, and we continue to maintain a robust presence.

John "Jesse" Kelly (Giffords' 2010 Republican Opponent)
    "We are all deeply saddened by this morning's shooting. We are getting conflicting reports right now. Gabrielle Giffords, the other victims, and their families are in our prayers."

Brady Campaign President Paul Helmke
    "Our hearts and prayers go out to Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords and her family, and to all of the other victims who were shot and killed at a Tucson grocery store today. Members of our staff have met the Congresswoman and we are deeply saddened and horrified by this tragedy. We find it unacceptable that when Americans and our elected leaders are assembling in public places, their lives are at risk from gun violence. We also are deeply concerned about the heated political rhetoric that escalates debates and controversies, and sometimes makes it seem as if violence is an acceptable response to honest disagreements. We, as Americans, can and should do more to restore civility to our political discourse and we can and should do more to address the conditions that make it too easy for dangerous and irresponsible people to disrupt and destroy the lives of innocent Americans, and political leaders who are simply trying to serve their communities and our country.

Sen. John McCain
    "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."

Sen. Jon Kyl
    "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."

Rep. Steny H. Hoyer (D - MD)
    "My prayers are with Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords, her family, her staff, and all the victims of today's shooting in Tucson, Arizona. Congresswoman Giffords is a devoted and insightful public servant, and a passionate advocate for her constituents?but more than that, she is my dear friend. To all those who are privileged to know Gabby Giffords, who know her spirit and graciousness in public life, today's cowardly attack is devastating. But it is equally devastating to every American?to everyone who cares about our democracy. Our form of government, like all human things, is imperfect and flawed; but one of its greatest virtues is its power to resolve questions of the greatest import without violence. An attack on a member of that government?of whatever party or whatever views?is an attack on that principle, in which every American has a stake."

Sen. Claire McCaskill, D-MO
    "I feel sick to my stomach. Praying."

Sen. Mark Kirk, R-IL
    "Rep. Giffords and shooting victims are in our prayers."

Sen. David Vitter, R-LA
    "Wendy and I join all other Louisianans in praying urgently and fervently for Congresswoman Giffords and those others who were shot at her town hall meeting. This is a horrible, despicable attack on good people and on our very democracy. We'll continue our sincere prayer vigil."

Rep. David Schweikert (AZ 5th District)
    "Joyce and I are joining hands in heartfelt prayers for Rep. Giffords and all the other victims of this tragedy. It is unconscionable and while we are still awaiting all the details, we urge all Arizonans and Americans to pray for the victims of this terrible tragedy."