Arizona Rep. Gabrielle Giffords to step down from Congress

by Kyle Potter

U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, D-Ariz., announced Sunday that she will step down from her seat in Congress.

“I have more work to do on my recovery, so to do what is best for Arizona, I will step down this week,” Giffords said in a video posted on YouTube. Watch the entire video posted below.

Giffords was severely injured at a “Congress on Your Corner” on Jan. 8, 2011, when a gunman opened fire on the crowd outside a Safeway grocery store in Casas Adobes, Ariz. Six were killed  and 12 others were injuredin the attack.

Jared Lee Loughner, 23, was arrested and charged in connection to the incident. He has pled not guilty in court.

Giffords spent months in the hospital recovering and then starting on rehab. Throughout the process, she and her husband, astronaut Mark Kelly, vowed they would work on Giffords’ condition so that she could one day return to Congress.

Giffords’ announcement that she would not return came a little more than a year after the attack. She was initially elected to the House of Representatives in November 2006.

The congresswoman will submit her letter of resignation to House Speaker John Boehner and Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer later this week, according to the Arizona Daily Star. The Star reports that Giffords will finish the “Congress on Your Corner” event from last January before she leaves office.