Members of Congress and other prominent political figures took to Twitter on Saturday afternoon to express shock to the shooting of Rep. Gabrielle Giffords (D-Ariz.), with several using the social messaging site to condemn the attack.
“This attack at Rep. Giffords event is a horrible, despicable assault on good people and our democracy,” Sen. David Vitter (R-La.) tweeted. “Very unsettling.”
Many Members, including Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio), used the website to post statements offering prayers to Giffords’ family, friends and staff. Other Members typed more off-the-cuff messages, including Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.), who posted: “I feel sick to my stomach. Praying.”
Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah) echoed McCaskill’s tweet in his own message.
“Just getting word about the shooting of Rep. Giffords. This type of senseless act of violence should never happen,” he wrote.
Added Rep. Vern Buchanan (R-Fla.): “Words cannot express the pain and sorrow I feel re: the senseless shooting of my colleague, Rep. Giffords, and members of her staff.”
After initial reports went out that Giffords had died, several Members used the social networking site to share their shock, including Rep. Jared Polis (D-Colo.). “A good heart, one of the nicest members of congress. I saw her yesterday, never suspected it would be the last time,” Polis wrote.
But Polis updated his followers an hour later with the news that “She might be alive, the hospital is holding a news conference in 20 mins.”
Not just Members of Congress posted messages. Former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin (R-Alaska) linked to a message posted on her Facebook page offering prayers.
“My sincere condolences are offered to the family of Rep. Gabrielle Giffords and the other victims of today’s tragic shooting in Arizona,” Palin wrote. “On behalf of Todd and my family, we all pray for the victims and their families, and for peace and justice.”
Rep. Elijah Cummings, D-Md., right, hugs Harold Schaitberger, General President of the International Association of Fire Fighters, after the Congressman spoke at the IAFF's Legislative Conference General Session at the Hyatt Regency on Capitol Hill, March 9, 2015. The day featured addresses by members of Congress and Vice President Joe Biden.