Congresswoman Giffords returning to Tucson this weekend

Reuters News
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Posted: Jun 17, 2011 6:53 PM
Congresswoman Giffords returning to Tucson this weekend

PHOENIX (Reuters) - Arizona Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords is returning home to Tucson for the weekend for the first time since she left the state for treatment after she was shot in the head, her office said on Friday.

Giffords, who was discharged on Wednesday from a Houston hospital, will not make any public appearances or grant interviews during the visit, and instead plans to see family, her office said.

"We've been dreaming of this trip for some time," Giffords' husband, Navy Captain Mark Kelly, said in a statement.

"Gabby misses Tucson very much and her doctors have said that returning to her hometown could play an important role in her recovery. It is sure to be very emotional," he said.

Giffords was shot in the head at close range by a gunman who opened fire at her and a crowd of bystanders at a political event on January 8 outside a supermarket in Tucson, Arizona. Twelve other victims were wounded, and six were killed, including a federal judge, a young girl and a Giffords aide.

Jared Loughner, a 22-year-old college dropout charged with the shooting, was declared mentally incompetent to stand trial and sent to a Missouri hospital for federal prisoners last month.

Earlier this week, the first photographs of Giffords since the shooting were posted on her Facebook page.

(Reporting by David Schwartz and Alex Dobuzinskis: Editing by Greg McCune)