Gabrielle Giffords posted a two-minute video to her website today in which she announced her decision to give up her congressional seat. In "A Message From Gabby," the Democratic Congresswoman from Arizona said she would instead focus on her ongoing and miraculous recovery from grave injuries incurred during the horrific mass-shooting that killed six and injured 19 outside a supermarket in Tucson on Jan. 8, 2011.
Of the incident, Giffords, her hair longer and speaking clearly but with effort, says, “I don’t remember much from that horrible day." She goes on to say that she "will never forget the trust you placed in me to be your voice. I have more work to do on my recovery, so to do what is best for Arizona, I will step down this week.”
Shooting suspect Jared Lee Loughner, now 23, has been diagnosed with bipolar disorder and is undergoing psychiatric treatment and observation in a Missouri facility. He's been forcibly treated with anti-psychotic drugs for the past five months, the AP reports, but no decision has yet been reached on whether or not he is fit to stand trial.
The resignation will bring a special election later in 2012 to fill Giffords' vacated seat. Were her husband, NASA astronaut Mark Kelly, to decide to run -- as some suspect he may -- he would have access to the $800,000 in Giffords campaign fundraising that has been donated since the shooting, The Washington Post reports.
Watch the video here: