The husband of wounded Rep. Gabrielle Giffords expressed gratitude late Sunday for the outpouring of support after the Arizona Democrat was shot Saturday in a rampage that left six dead.
“On behalf of Gabby and our entire family, I want to extend our heartfelt gratitude to the people of Arizona and this great nation for their unbelievable outpouring of support,” NASA astronaut Mark Kelly said in his first public statement since the shootings.
“Gabby was doing what she loved most – hearing from her constituents – when this tragedy occurred,” he said. “Serving Southern Arizonans is her passion, and nothing makes her more proud than representing them in Congress.”
Kelly also thanked first responders, medical personnel, law enforcement and citizens who responded swiftly to the attacks.
“Many stories of heroism are emerging, and they are a source of strength for us during this difficult time,” he said. “We are forever grateful.”
Kelly said they are mourning the loss of the six people killed in the attack — U.S. District Judge John Roll; Gabe Zimmerman, a 30-year-old Giffords aide who was recently engaged; Christina Taylor Green, a 9-year-old girl who had just been elected to her school’s student council; Dorothy Morris, 76; Dorwin Stoddard, 76; and Phyllis Scheck, 79.
“We must never forget them, and our prayers are with their families,” Kelly said.
He urged people who have offered help to pray for people who are struggling and to consider giving to two organizations supported by Giffords, Tucson’s Community Food Bank and the Southern Arizona Chapter of the American Red Cross.
Giffords remains in a hospital in Tucson after being shot in the head. More than a dozen others were wounded.
Jared Loughner, 22, was charged Sunday in the attack.
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., carries a musket on stage as he speaks during the American Conservative Union's Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) at National Harbor, Md., on Thursday March 6, 2014.