Carson Increases Security In Wake Of Arizona Shooting

Indiana Lawmakers Weigh In On Shooting Rampage

The staff of Democratic U.S. Rep. Andre Carson of Indianapolis increased security Saturday, after the shooting of a colleague in Arizona.

U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, D-Ariz., was shot in the head Saturday when an assailant opened fire outside a Tucson grocery store where she was meeting with constituents. U.S. District Judge John Roll was among those killed in the attack, and several others were injured.

"We have taken appropriate steps in light of the tragedy today in Arizona," said Justin Ohlemiller, Carson's district director. "We've been in touch with Homeland Security and will continue to do so as the situation continues to evolve."

Carson has no immediate plans to change any public appearances, but Ohlemiller declined to say whether the congressman was in Indianapolis or Washington, D.C.

"I don't want to say where he is at this point," Ohlemiller said.

Carson said he is "sickened and saddened" by the Arizona shooting.

"Congresswoman Giffords is a valued colleague and a young, energetic and dedicated member of Congress," Carson said in a statement released by his office.

Other Indiana congressmen and senators contacted Saturday did not comment directly on whether they were increasing security in light of the Tucson shootings.

"At this time we're all focused on Congresswoman Giffords and the others who were shot," said Elizabeth Shappell, a spokeswoman for U.S. Rep. Joe Donnelly, a northern Indiana Democrat.

Donnelly and others, including U.S. Rep. Mike Pence, an eastern Indiana Republican, issued statements expressing their shock and calling for prayers for the shooting victims and their families.

"Our hearts go out to Congresswoman Giffords, her staff, the injured and the families of those who lost their lives," Pence said. "She is a positive, optimistic, always prepared member of Congress who has the ability to engage in a debate but never really be personal about it. I've always admired that about her."

6News political analyst Abdul-Hakim Shabazz, who also hosts a morning talk show on WXNT, said the shooting is chilling on several levels.

"First of all, it should be a wakeup call to all elected officials that we do live in a dangerous world," Shabazz said. "It should be a wakeup call to people in my profession that we maybe need to sometimes watch our rhetoric."