AUSTIN (KXAN) — As authorities work to understand the suspect’s motive in the shooting at a baseball field in Alexandria, Va. involving Republican Congressional members, the last time a congress member was shot during an attack was former Rep. Gabrielle Giffords in Arizona.
Giffords was the target of an assassination attempt while she was hosting a “Congress On Your Corner” event at a Tucson grocery store in 2011. Giffords was shot in the head by Jared Lee Loughner. She survived the attack but six others were killed and an additional 12 were injured. As a result of the shooting, Giffords suffers from a language disorder and is partially paralyzed.
Loughner pleaded guilty in 2012 and was sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole.
The congresswoman stepped down from her position in January of 2012, but she, along with her husband Mark Kelly, founded Americans for Responsible Solutions, a non-profit that advocates for stricter gun control.
On her Facebook page, Giffords says she “will not allow leaders across the country to forget that Americans are demanding responsible solutions to gun violence.”
When the shooting at the baseball field happen, Giffords tweeted: My heart is with my former colleagues, their families & staff, and the US Capitol Police- public servants and heroes today and every day.
She also sent out a statement saying, “It doesn’t matter if you’re a Democrat or a Republican, nor if you’re a senator or a representative, nor a staffer or a sworn officer. If you serve the institution of Congress, you’re connected to your colleagues, current and former, by a shared sense of service to ideals far greater than yourself. This shooting is an attack on all who serve and on all who participate in our democracy.”
In December 2015, when the U.S. Senate failed to pass two amendments regarding gun control–one closing loopholes in the nation’s background check laws and the other closing the gap that lets known or suspected terrorists buy guns–Giffords issued a statement stating, “Once again, we wish we could use words like ‘unimaginable’ and ‘unthinkable’ to describe this irresponsible inaction – especially as it comes in the wake of yet another horrific mass shooting in our country. But we cannot. Once again, some United States Senators ignored the will of the American people, stood with the gun lobby, and voted to protect the loopholes that make it too easy for dangerous people to get their hands on guns.”