In January 2011, a shooter tried to assassinate former Rep. Gabrielle Giffords while she met with constituents in Arizona. On Wednesday, nearly 10 years later to the day, her husband, Sen. Mark Kelly (D-Ariz.), was locked down inside the U.S. Capitol while a mob of violent pro-Trump rioters stormed the building.
“As I sat waiting for information about @SenMarkKelly’s safety today, I couldn’t stop thinking about what you must have gone through 10 years ago this week,” Giffords tweeted. “I’m so glad you and your staff are safe. I love you, sweetie.”
Kelly, a former NASA astronaut, was sworn in last month as the second Democratic senator for Arizona. He and Giffords have been married since 2007.
“In America, we have fair elections and peaceful transfers of power; democracy prevails over chaos; and those who commit violent acts are held accountable. That won’t change today. This unpatriotic attempt to overturn our election ― and silence the voices of Arizonans ― will fail,” he tweeted Wednesday.
After President Donald Trump encouraged protesters to march on the Capitol to object to his loss of the 2020 election, hundreds of rioters breached the building, smashed windows, tore through legislative offices and stormed the House and Senate chambers.
Lawmakers were moved to a secure location during the chaos. They later resumed their work to certify President-elect Joe Biden’s win.
“We’re back in the Senate chamber to finish our work and count the electoral votes from Arizona and every other state because this is our democracy,” Kelly wrote.
On Jan. 8, 2011, Giffords was shot in the head when a gunman opened fire at an event she was hosting at a grocery store in Tucson. Six people died, and 12 others were wounded.
She suffered a brain injury and underwent intensive speech and physical therapy. She has been advocating for gun control ever since.