Wounded Representative Giffords resigns from Congress

Reuters News
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Posted: Jan 25, 2012 11:48 AM
Wounded Representative Giffords resigns from Congress

(Reuters) - U.S. Representative Gabrielle Giffords, wounded a year ago in a deadly Tucson shooting spree, stepped down from the U.S. Congress on Wednesday to focus on her recovery.

"The only way I ever served my district in Congress was by giving 100 percent. This past year that's what I have given to my recovery," Giffords said in letters to House speaker John Boehner and Arizona Governor Jan Brewer.

"This past year my colleagues and staff have worked to make sure my constituents were represented in Congress. But if I can't return, my district deserves to elect a U.S. Representative who can give 100 percent to the job," she added.

Her resignation will be effective at the end of the day on Wednesday.

The three-term Arizona Democrat was holding a meet-and-greet event at a Tucson supermarket on January 8 last year when a gunman opened fire.

Six people were killed, including a 9-year-old girl and a federal judge, and 12 others were wounded including Giffords, who was shot through the head and has been receiving therapy at a hospital in Houston, Texas.

Jared Loughner, a college dropout, was charged with first-degree murder, the attempted assassination of Giffords and other crimes stemming from the shooting. He pleaded not guilty and was found mentally unfit to stand trial.

(Reporting By Tim Gaynor. Editing by Paul Thomasch)