Rep. Gabrielle Giffords remained hospitalized Sunday as investigators sought to understand what motivated a gunman to carry out an assassination attempt on the Democratic lawmaker in a rampage that killed six people.
University Medical Center spokeswoman Darci Slaten told The Associated Press that Giffords underwent a two-hour surgery Saturday and has not been conscious since the shooting. She said more information will be released at a news conference in which one of the doctors who operated on Giffords plans to speak.
Outside the hospital, candles flickered at a makeshift memorial. Signs read “Peace + love are stronger,” “God bless America and “We love you, Gabrielle.” People also laid down bouquets of flowers, American flags and pictures of Giffords
Authorities said Giffords, 40, was targeted at a public gathering by a man with a semiautomatic weapon around 10 a.m. Saturday outside a busy Tucson supermarket. Arizona’s chief federal judge and five others were killed and 14 people were injured, including the Democrat lawmaker.
South Carolina Congressman James Clyburn, a veteran of the civil rights movement, pointed to some of the “vitriolic” statements from the 2010 campaign, including Nevada GOP Senate candidate Sharron Angle floating “second amendment remedies” to control Congress.
“I believe that those of us who are in responsible positions owe it to the country and owe it ourselves and owe it to this great institution we call the United States Congress, to speak out against this kind of rhetoric because if you don’t, it will keep ratcheting up, up, and up,” added Clyburn. “And before you know it, as Martin Luther King has admonished us, the people of ill will will have won the debate.”