June 18, 2011 / 2:55 PM / 6 years ago

Congresswoman Giffords touches down in Tucson

2 Min Read

<p>U.S. Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords smiles at TIRR Memorial Hermann Hospital in Houston, the day after the launch of Endeavour and the day before her cranioplasty, in this May 17, 2011 photo released on her Facebook page June 12, 2011.P.K. Weis/SouthwestPhotoBank.com</p>

PHOENIX (Reuters) - Arizona Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords has landed in Tucson for a weekend visit, her first since she left the state for treatment after she was shot in the head, a tweet to her profile followers said on Saturday.

"Wheels down Tucson. Gabrielle & Mark looking forward to a beautiful weekend," said the message.

Giffords, discharged on Wednesday from a Houston hospital, is not scheduled to make any public appearances or grant interviews during the visit, and instead plans to see family, her office said.

"We've been dreaming of this trip for some time," Giffords' husband, Navy Captain Mark Kelly, said in a statement this week.

"Gabby misses Tucson very much and her doctors have said that returning to her hometown could play an important role in her recovery. It is sure to be very emotional," he said.

Giffords was shot in the head at close range by a gunman who opened fire at her and a crowd of bystanders at a political event on January 8 outside a supermarket in Tucson, Arizona. Twelve other victims were wounded, and six were killed, including a federal judge, a young girl and a Giffords aide.

Jared Loughner, a 22-year-old college dropout charged with the shooting, was declared mentally incompetent to stand trial and sent to a Missouri hospital for federal prisoners last month.

Earlier this week, the first photographs of Giffords since the shooting were posted on her Facebook page.

Reporting by David Schwartz and Alex Dobuzinskis: Editing by Greg McCune and Jerry Norton

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