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Gabrielle Giffords Reaction: Boehner Sees "Attack on All Who Serve"

Gabrielle Giffords, John Boehner
Gabrielle Giffords of Arizona's 8th District is sworn into the 112th Congress by House Speaker John Boehner AP

Updated Jan. 9, 9 a.m. ET

House Speaker John Boehner today said he was "horrified by the senseless attack" on Rep. Gabrielle Giffords (D-Ariz.) and her staff today in Tucson, Ariz.

"An attack on one who serves is an attack on all who serve," Boehner, a Republican, said in a statement.

At least five people were killed in the shooting, including Federal Judge John Roll and a nine-year-old girl. The gunman, identified as 22-year-old Jared Loughner, opened fire at a supermarket where Giffords was meeting with constituents, billed as "Congress on Your Corner."

Special Section: Tragedy in Tucson

Giffords was shot in the head, but doctors said this afternoon that she had come through surgery and that they were "very optimistic" for her recovery.

"Acts and threats of violence against public officials have no place in our society... This is a sad day for our country," Boehner said.

Boehner was one of several senators, representatives and others who made or released statements in the aftermath of the shooting in Arizona. Below is a sample of the statements:

President Obama: "It's not surprising that today Gabby was doing what she always does -- listening to the hopes and concerns of her neighbors. That is the essence of what our democracy is all about. That is why this is more than a tragedy for those involved. It is a tragedy for Arizona and a tragedy for our entire country." (Read more of Mr. Obama's comments.)

Vice President Joe Biden: "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."

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House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.): "This terrible act of violence is a national tragedy, and today is a very sad day for our country... 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."

Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts:: "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."

Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.): "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... 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 (R-Ariz.): "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."

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Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.): "This is a sad day for our country, and acts of senseless violence such as this one affect us all. Congresswoman Giffords is one of our most dynamic members of Congress. As a representative of a neighboring state, I have watched her career closely and admired her work on behalf of the state of Arizona. I know she will be in the thoughts of every American - and in particular those who dedicate their lives to public service as she and her staff have."

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.): "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."

Rep. Raul M. Grijalva (D-Ariz.): "I am sickened by the horrific attack in Tucson today and saddened by this senseless violence. This is a tragedy for Arizona, our nation, and our democracy. Gabrielle never let fear or intimidation prevent her from serving the people of Arizona. My thoughts and prayers are with Congresswoman Giffords, her husband Mark, her staff, all those who were injured, and their families."

Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer (R): "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."

Former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin (R): "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."

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Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.): "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."

Rep. Mike Ross (D-Ark.): "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 Coaliton 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."

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