Giffords learns identities of shooting victims

U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords (D-Ariz.) has learned the identities of those killed in a shooting attack during a meet-the-constituents event at which she was also shot.

Jared Loughner allegedly opened fire Jan. 8 at the event in Tucson, killing 6, including a long-time Giffords aide and a nine-year-old girl. Giffords was shot in the head.

Giffords had not been deemed strong enough following her own traumatic injury to learn more details about the attack.

She was informed of the identities of the victims late last month, just before she returned to Congress for the first time to vote on raising the federal debt ceiling, the Arizona Republic reported over the weekend.

A Giffords aid told the newspaper that the congresswoman was “deeply saddened” by the information.

Giffords, the first Jewish woman elected from her state to a federal office, has been rehabilitating since the shooting. She was released from the hospital in June but returns every day for speech, music, physical and occupational therapy. Her neurosurgeon has cleared her for a reelection bid.