Giffords to step down to focus on her recovery

US REPRESENTATIVE Gabrielle Giffords, who was shot in the head during a shooting spree in Tucson a year ago, said yesterday that she will step down this week from the US Congress to focus on her recovery.

“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, posting the announcement on social media such as Twitter and YouTube.

“I’m getting better. Every day my spirit is high. I will return and we will work together for Arizona and this great country. Thank you very much,” she added.

Giffords, a Democrat representing Arizona’s District 8, is serving her third term.

She was shot through the head on 8 January last year when a gunman opened fire on her first congressional outreach meeting of the year in Tucson, killing six people and wounding 12 others.

A 23-year-old college dropout named Jared Loughner was arrested and charged with the crimes, including attempting to assassinate Giffords.

He pleaded not guilty, and was found unfit to stand trial.