Gabby Giffords Was Shot 10 Years Ago This Week. Today, She Waited for News That Her Husband Was Safe at America’s Capitol.

Nicholas Kamm/Pool via AP

By Lorraine Longhi

January 6, 2021

Ten years ago this week, Mark Kelly learned his wife Gabby Giffords, then a representative in Congress, had been shot during a meeting with constituents just outside of Tucson.

The shooting at a Safeway parking lot on Jan. 8, 2011, would take the lives of six people and injure 13 more, including Giffords.

On Wednesday, after crowds of right-wing extremists swarmed the US Capitol, Giffords said she was taken back to that moment in 2011 as she waited for news that her husband, who is now a senator, was safe.

“I couldn’t stop thinking about what you must have gone through 10 years ago this week,” Giffords said Wednesday night on Twitter. “I’m so glad you and your staff are safe. I love you, sweetie.”

Supporters of President Donald Trump overtook the Capitol on Wednesday after multiple Republicans objected to the results of the 2020 election, despite there being no evidence of widespread voter fraud.

“I’m heartbroken by the violent attempt to undermine our democracy today. But we won’t be terrorized,” Giffords said earlier on Wednesday. “I still believe in the power of democracy to bring us together, casting away hate and lighting a better path forward.”

Kelly was elected to the Senate in November after beating out GOP incumbent Sen. Martha McSally.

Kelly, along with Sen. Kyrsten Sinema, is one of two Democratic senators from Arizona. This year marks the first time in nearly 70 years two Democrats will represent Arizona in the Senate.

The insurgency at the Capitol comes just one month after Kelly was sworn into office

On Friday, a ceremonial bell ringing will be held at Tucson’s Historic County Courthouse to commemorate the 10th anniversary of the shooting.

Giffords reflected earlier this week on being sworn in for her third and final term in Congress in 2011, just days before the shooting.

“I had no idea my life would change forever just a few days later,” Giffords wrote on Twitter. “But I’ve never let anything hold me back, and that’s why I’m proud to continue to serve every day by fighting for a safer, better country.”

Reach the reporter at or 480-243-4086.


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