Updated 9:19 p.m.
Democrat Gabrielle Giffords and 17 others were shot, Giffords at point blank range, at an event the Southern Arizona congresswoman was holding with constituents outside a Safeway in Tuscon, Ariz., Saturday morning.
All told 18 people were shot in the attack, Pima County Sheriff Clarence Dupnik said in a televised evening news conference. Giffords was the target in the shooting that has left six dead, he said. In addition to the suspect in custody, Jared Lee Loughner, a second person of interest is being sought in the shooting. Authorities also announced they found a suspicious package outside Giffords's Tucson office, KGUN reporter Sergio Avila told CNN's Wolf Blitzer Saturday evening.
Giffords's surgeon at the University Medical Center in Tucson said shortly after 4 p.m. Eastern that he was "very optimistic about her recovery" and that she had completed surgery. "She was shot in the head," he said, with a bullet that went "through and through." Ten patients arrived at the hospital, including one child. One, the nine-year-old child, died and five remain in critical condition, he said, with five in the operating room.
President Obama issued a statement and followed it with a short speech televised from the White House. "She is currently battling for her life," President Obama said, noting that the roster of those who lost their lives today included federal judge John Roll. Roll is the Chief Judge of the US District Court of Arizona.