BOWIE, Md. (Jan. 11, 2011) — The Tire Industry Association (TIA) expressed “deep sadness” over the Jan. 8 shooting of Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, D-Ariz., a former tire dealer who was elected to Congress in 2006.
Rep. Giffords, 40, was shot in the head outside a supermarket at her home district of Tucson, where she was holding a scheduled meet-and-greet session with constituents. Surgeons were optimistic about Rep. Giffords' long-term chances for recovery, but stressed that it would take months, even years, before her life and physical condition would resume any semblance of normality.
Six people were shot dead at the scene—including an aide to Rep. Giffords, a federal judge and a nine-year-old girl—and 13 others were wounded. The alleged shooter, Jared Lee Loughner, 22—who had been suspended from Pima Community College pending a mental health evaluation—was arraigned in Tucson federal court Jan. 10 on five counts of murder and attempted murder, including the attempted assassination of a member of Congress.
From 1996 until 2000, Rep. Giffords was president of El Campo Tire & Service Centers Inc., an 11-store tire dealership chain in Tucson. In the latter year, she sold the company to Goodyear.
“Our thoughts and prayers go out to Ms. Giffords and the other victims struggling to recover, as well as to their family and friends,” said Roy Littlefield, TIA executive vice president, in a prepared statement. “We also extend our deepest sympathies to the family and friends of those who were killed in this horrific, senseless act of violence.”
Mr. Littlefield said he and Paul Fiore, TIA director of government and business relations, had interacted with Rep. Giffords on several legislative issues.
“She ran her family's tire business before entering politics, and this experience gives her a keen insight on the issues facing our industry,” Mr. Littlefield said. “Hopefully, she and the other victims currently being treated will make a speedy recovery, and I am looking forward to working with her again soon.”