Leaders react to shootings in Arizona
January 8th, 2011
06:58 PM ET
11 years ago

Leaders react to shootings in Arizona

(CNN) - Many politicians and other national figures have issued statements on the shooting Saturday that killed several people, including U.S. District Court Chief Judge John Roll, and wounded 12 others, including U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, D-Arizona, at a political event in Tucson, Arizona, on Saturday. Among them were:

President Barack Obama
"This morning, in an unspeakable tragedy, a number of Americans were shot in Tucson, Arizona, at a constituent meeting with Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords. And while we are continuing to receive information, we know that some have passed away, and that Representative Giffords is gravely wounded.

We do not yet have all the answers. What we do know is that such a senseless and terrible act of violence has no place in a free society. I ask all Americans to join me and Michelle in keeping Representative Giffords, the victims of this tragedy, and their families in our prayers."

U.S. Supreme Court 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.

U.S. House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi
"It is with the deepest sadness that we have received word of the attack on Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords, members of her staff, and her constituents. This terrible act of violence is a national tragedy, and today is a very sad day for our country.

"My prayers, and the prayers of all members of Congress, go out to her husband, Capt. Mark Kelly, their family, and to all of the staff and others who were victims of this horrible attack.

"Congresswoman Giffords is a brilliant and courageous member of Congress, bringing to Washington the views of a new generation of national leaders. It is especially tragic that she was attacked as she was meeting with her constituents whom she serves with such dedication and distinction.

U.S. Sen. Frank Lautenberg, D-New Jersey
"We are all shocked and saddened by the shooting of Rep. Gabrielle Giffords and other innocent people today. Rep. Giffords was innocently pursuing her interest in serving the public when she was shot in this maniacal act. America must not tolerate violence or inflammatory rhetoric that incites political violence."

House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio

"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."

U.S. 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."

Former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin

"My sincere condolences are offered to the family of Rep. Gabrielle Giffords and the other victims of today's tragic shooting in Arizona.

"On behalf of Todd and my family, we all pray for the victims and their families, and for peace and justice.

"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."

U.S. Rep. Michele Bachmann, R-Minnesota
"My tears are flowing, and I am stunned and angered that Gabby Giffords was savagely gunned down while performing her congressional duties. I am praying for Gabby, and my thoughts, prayers, and deepest sympathy go out to her family, as well as the families of each of the victims.

"Gabby Giffords governed with integrity and wisdom. We came to Congress together and I had the privilege of knowing her as a friend and colleague.

"It is my hope and expectation that the coward who carried out this horrific act of violence will be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. I extend my hand of friendship to her family and staff and will keep them in my prayers."

"Arizona's Republicans are deeply saddened and mortified by the horrific shooting of Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords and the other 11 victims at an event this morning in Tucson.

"Senseless acts of violence like these are shocking, disturbing and have no place in our country. The thoughts and prayers of all Arizonans are with the victims and families during this terrible tragedy in our state's history. We sincerely hope that the responsible party is prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law."

U.S. 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."

U.S. Sen. John McCain, R-Arizona
"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."

U.S. Rep. Mike Ross, co-chairman of the Blue Dog Coalition
"It is with profound sadness that the members of the Blue Dog Coalition received the news of this terrible act of violence against Congresswoman and fellow Blue Dog Coalition member Giffords and members of her staff. She is not only an exceptional member of Congress who has dedicated her life to serving the people of Arizona, but a true friend to all of us who have the privilege of serving with her.

"Our thoughts and prayers go out to Gabby, her family and the members of her staff."

Rahm Emanuel, former White House chief of staff under President Obama
"What occurred today in Arizona is a senseless and horrific tragedy. Gabby is a friend, a former colleague, and a respected public servant who was doing what she loved most: meeting her constituents. She will be in Amy and my thoughts and prayers as she fights for her life, as will all of the victims."

Filed under: Arizona • Gabrielle Giffords
soundoff (10 Responses)
  1. GonzoinHouston

    I hope to God the shooter turns out to be a random psycho. A politically motivated shooting is the absolute last thing we need in the current environment.

    January 8, 2011 07:00 pm at 7:00 pm |
  2. Fed up in Texas and Mad as Hell!

    To Palin and Bachman, we don't need your shallow. hollow statements. Go away!

    January 8, 2011 07:04 pm at 7:04 pm |
  3. GOP = Greed Over People

    It was a REPUBLICAN by the name of Sarah Palin that put Gabrielle Giffords in the "cross hairs" and made her a target. Giffords is #4 on Palin's "do not retreat, reload" list on Sarah.Pac in 2010. Palin just laughed off the criticism when it was pointed out that this could be the outcome of her "suggestions".

    I personally would not want to be in Palin's shoes today and especially on Judgment Day, knowing her "suggestions" may have cost people their lives.

    January 8, 2011 07:07 pm at 7:07 pm |
  4. once upon a horse

    my hopes and prayers go out for the congresswoman and all the other victims and their families. This is NO time for finger pointing by left and right although I know that will come up. Sometimes it takes a tragic situation for people to open their eyes and see we need to unite in our country even if we disagree on certain things.

    January 8, 2011 07:11 pm at 7:11 pm |
  5. Bill Mays

    Now we need to hear our political leaders comments the statements during the election campaign about obtaining the necessary results through Second Amendment Rights?
    I would like to hear that re-run and the reporters asking now if this shooting is what was being talked about?

    January 8, 2011 07:13 pm at 7:13 pm |
  6. Monster Zero

    The guy was a complete psycho, from his posts he sounded like a paranoid schizophrenic, our prayers go out to the families of those harmed. We should all agree to disagree and fight the good fight over our disagreements, that is what the voting booth is for.

    January 8, 2011 10:19 pm at 10:19 pm |
  7. bettytatum9

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    January 8, 2011 11:15 pm at 11:15 pm |
  8. Mike

    The headline says "Leaders react to shootings", not reality TV stars. Considering Palin and her propaganda likely had something to do with the shooter's actions, I would think she should be the LAST person CNN is taking soundbites from.

    January 8, 2011 11:53 pm at 11:53 pm |
  9. martin

    Bachmann and Palin should shut their mouths. Their tears are as dry as the Sahara desert.

    January 9, 2011 12:36 am at 12:36 am |
  10. Patriots Salute the Flag! Traitors don't!!!

    Mister President Obama I am a Tea Party person but I pray to God that he will bless you in these days of troubling times. May the wounded heal from their wounds along with their families anguish. I pray for the ones killed by the sick persons who done this deed. I pray that they will find Jesus in their lives so they can have a peaceful heart as they answer the law for their transgressions. Please President Obama I pray to God to help bring the ethnic parties of this nation together in one aim and that is for the betterment of the United States. Please find it in your heart to lead the way by saluting the flag and the National Antheum. After all you are our leader. The leader of the black, red, brown, yellow and the white of America. Bless you and good luck.

    January 9, 2011 03:42 am at 3:42 am |