U.S. congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords of Arizona, who supported the right of Americans to bear arms, was seriously wounded in a gunman attack on Saturday, the U.S. media reported.
At least five other people were killed and 11 were wounded when a young man went on a shooting spree as Giffords addressed her supporters outside a grocery store in the Arizona city of Tucson.
Giffords, 40, was shot in the head at point-blank range and was hospitalized in a critical condition.
She underwent brain surgery, and doctors said they were optimistic about her recovery.
The suspect, whose motives are unknown, was arrested and is currently being interrogated by FBI agents.
U.S. President Barack Obama deplored the shooting as a "senseless and terrible act of violence" and an "unspeakable tragedy."
Giffords, a third-term Democrat in the U.S. House of Representatives, is married to U.S. astronaut Mark Kelly, who has piloted space shuttles.
A long time gun owner and a motorcycle rider, Gifford is known as a moderate centrist politician and a rising star among American lawmakers.
WASHINGTON, January 9 (RIA Novosti)