TUCSON, Ariz. (AP) — A newly sworn-in congressman who was injured
in a mass shooting last year along with then-Rep. Gabrielle Giffords held
his first “Congress on Your Corner” event with southern Arizona
constituents on Saturday.
Giffords held 21 of the informal meet-and-greet events during her more
than four years in office, including one on the day of the shooting — Jan. 8,
2011. The rampage left six dead and 13 wounded, including Giffords and
her then-district director, Ron Barber.
Giffords relinquished the seat in January to concentrate on her recovery
from a gunshot wound to her head. Barber, a Democrat, won a special
election to replace her earlier this month. He was sworn in Tuesday in
About 300 people showed up at Saturday’s event outside a Tucson grocery
store as temperatures topped 100 degrees, Barber spokesman Mark Kimble
said. Visitors ranged from other survivors of the mass shooting and well-
wishers to people who had concerns about their federal student loans or
veteran’s benefits, he said.
The event had been scheduled to last an hour and a half.
“But there were so many people, we went three hours,” Kimble said.
Barber was shot twice, once in the face and once in the leg in the shooting,
which took place in front of another Tucson grocery store. He was asked by
Giffords earlier this year to pursue the seat, and she appeared in Tucson
during the campaign’s final days to help him.
Barber defeated Republican Jesse Kelly, who narrowly lost to Giffords in
Copyright 2012 The Associated Press.