Overview of shooting spree at Rep. Giffords' event

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Saturday was a dark day in southern Arizona. A gunman opened fire at a public event held by Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords.

Nineteen people were shot including the congresswoman who's in the hospital in critical condition. 6 of those victims have died.

The shooter is reportedly a 22-year-old Tucsonan with anti-government writings posted on-line.

According to a family friend, Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords awoke after surgery, recognized her husband and was responsive, just hours after she was shot in head by a gunman at the Safeway grocery store at Ina and Oracle.

Three medical choppers landed on Ina Road to transport victims fighting for their lives after a gunman opened fire in a shopping center parking lot.

Investigators say 22-year-old Jared Loughner allegedly opened fired outside the Safeway during a meet and greet for Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords.

"At first we heard shots, about 15, and then we saw a bunch of people running across the parking lot," said witness Andrea Gooden.

Officers searched the shopping plaza for a rumored second suspect.  Then there were questions about the congresswoman's condition.

"She has been injured I don't know to what extent," said Bureau Chief Richard Kastigar of the Pima County Sheriff's Dept.

More than a dozen people were injured in the shooting.  Five died right in front of the supermarket.

"I heard get down but I don't know who said it," said event volunteer Alex Villec.

Villec was volunteering for the Tucson democrat when he exchanged words with the suspected gunman.

"He came up to my table wanted to speak with the congresswoman and as I told other constituents he had to get to the back of the line and wait for his turn," said Villec.  "He came back about two minutes later and barged through the little tables."

Villec says he never saw the suspect draw a weapon, but he heard the gunfire.

"It took a few moments for things to register that this wasn't a joke this was actually happening so I guess I just acted out of instinct," said Villec. "I took off running I booked it for the bank."

Investigators later held a press conference off site, sharing more about alleged shooter Jared Loughner.

"That individual opened fire with a pistol with an extended magazine attached to it, he had a number of rounds," said Bureau Chief Kastigar.

The sheriff's department is still evaluating information gathered from witnesses to make sense of this crime.