Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, D-Ariz., returned to her hometown Tucson this weekend, a year after she was shot through the head there during a deadly shooting spree that wounded 13 people and killed six.
Reuters reported that on Saturday night Giffords made a surprise visit to the Safeway where the tragedy happened. On Jan. 8, 2011, Giffords was visiting with Tucson residents at that grocery store for a regular congressional outreach meeting when a gunman starting shooting a pistol into the crowd.
“Gabby just visited the Safeway for the 1st time since 1/8/11,” her husband, retired astronaut Mark Kelly, Tweeted on Saturday. “It’s been a tough year, but we’re lucky to have so many people standing w/us.”
Giffords has been recovering at a Houston, Texas, hospital for most of the last year. The shooter, 23-year-old Jared Loughner, was found mentally unfit to stand a trial and is being treated at a federal prison hospital in Missouri, according to Reuters.
Giffords and her husband made several surprise visits to places throughout the city on Saturday, including the Safeway store and the hospital that initially cared for Giffords and the others wounded. Giffords is attending remembrance events throughout Tucson on Sunday.
Among the events in Tucson were a candlelight vigil, a prayer service, the ringing of bells and a reading of the names of the victims, according to The New York Times. There were also speeches and a variety of other activities designed to remember and grieve the shooting, including organized sessions of yoga, meditation - even hugging.
This week’s trip to Tucson was her fourth since the shooting. She has flown back for Fathers Day, Labor Day and Thanksgiving. She has also made trips to Washington.
It’s unclear whether Giffords will—or is even mentally able to—run for reelection. Her team has yet to make any announcement on this.
Billy House contributed