Rep. Gabrielle Giffords says she is stepping down from Congress this week to focus on her recovery from the shooting last January that shocked the nation.
The Arizona Democrat, 41, was shot in the head at point-blank range as she was meeting with constituents at a Tucson grocery store. Six people were killed in the rampage and 13 people were wounded, including Giffords.
“A lot has happened over the past year. We cannot change that,” Giffords said in the video posted on her Facebook page. “… I don’t remember much from that horrible day, but I will never forget the trust you placed in me to be your voice. Thank you for your prayers and for giving me time to recover. I have more work to do on my recovery so to do what is best for Arizona I will step down this week.”
In a statement, Giffords said she intends to complete the “Congress on Your Corner” event that was interrupted by the shooting rampage by meeting with some of her constituents privately. She said she also plans to be at President Obama’s State of the Union Address in the House chambers on Tuesday.
Under Arizona law, Gov. Jan Brewer will have 72 hours after the vacancy to call a special election for Giffords’ 8th District seat, which takes in the southeastern part of the state.