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Gabrielle Giffords to Step Down After State of the Union

Danielle Olipra

Gabrielle Gifford's first photo released after shooting.

Representative chooses to focus on recovery from shooting

Arizona Representative Gabrielle Giffords, who was caught in the fire of a shooting spree last year, announced via various social media sites on Sunday that she will be stepping down from her place in the U.S. Congress, says The Christian Science Monitor.

“I have more work to do on my recovery, so to do what is best for Arizona I will step down this week,” her statement read, “I will return and we will work together for Arizona and this great country”.

Giffords, a Democrat who gained a reputation as a centrist, is serving her third term. Before stepping down, she plans to attend President Barack Obama’s State of the Union address to Congress on Tuesday.  Obama has said of Giffords’ decision, “We know it is with the best interests of her constituents in mind that Gabby has made the tough decision to step down from Congress,” and that she “represents the very best of what public service should be.”

On Jan. 8, 2011, Giffords was shot through the head when a gunman opened fire at a congressional outreach meeting in Tucson, killing six people and wounding 12.  A 23-year-old college dropout named Jared Loughner was charged with attempting to assassinate Giffords. He pled not guilty and was found unfit to stand trial.

Read more about Giffords here.

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