Jun 12, 2011





PHOENIX (Associated Press) -- The first photos of Rep. Gabrielle Giffords since she was shot in the head in a mass shooting in Tucson about five months ago were released early Sunday.

The photos appeared on her Facebook page.

Both pictures show the congresswoman outside. In one she is alone and smiling at the camera, her hair trimmed short with the skin on the side of her head slightly disclored but with no clear sign of any scarring. In the other, she is sitting with a woman.




Giffords has been in a Houston rehab facility since two weeks after the Jan. 8 shooting. Six people were killed and 13 were injured, including Giffords.

Since the shooting, the only time the public has gotten a glimpse of Giffords was April 27 as she boarded a plane to Florida to watch astronaut husband Mark Kelly launch into space. The grainy footage, taken from afar, showed Giffords slowly but purposefully walk up the airplane's stairs.

The newly released photos provide a much clearer image.

Last month as Kelly was orbiting Earth, doctors repaired Giffords' skull, finally freeing her from wearing a cumbersome protective helmet that her staff members say she hated.

Since the shooting, Giffords has made remarkable strides, requesting her favorite foods, singing her favorite songs, and relearning how to walk and talk, although she struggles to string sentences together.

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