President Barack Obama addressed the tragic shooting in Tucson, Arizona on Saturday in which Rep. Gabrielle Giffords was shot in the head and a number of others were hurt or killed following the incident.
"Gabby Giffords was a friend of mine," said Obama during a televised news conference. "She is not only an extraordinary public servant, but she is also somebody who is warm and caring. She is well-liked by her colleagues and well-liked by her constituents."
The president added, "I know Gabby is as tough as they come and I am hopeful that she is going to pull through... Our hearts go out to the family members of those who have been slain."
The White House issued the following statement on Saturday:
This morning, in an unspeakable tragedy, a number of Americans were shot in Tucson, Arizona, at a constituent meeting with Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords. And while we are continuing to receive information, we know that some have passed away, and that Representative Giffords is gravely wounded.
We do not yet have all the answers. What we do know is that such a senseless and terrible act of violence has no place in a free society. I ask all Americans to join me and Michelle in keeping Representative Giffords, the victims of this tragedy, and their families in our prayers.