House Speaker Boehner: Shootings won’t deter duty

House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) reads a statement House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) reads a statement at the West Chester Township Hall regarding the shooting of Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords (D-AZ). (Jan. 9, 2011) Photo Credit: Getty Images

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House Speaker John Boehner said Sunday that the shooting of an Arizona congresswoman won’t stop representatives in Washington from their duties.

In a brief statement, the newly sworn speaker said flags on the House side of the Capitol in Washington would be flown at half staff to honor Rep. Gabrielle Giffords’ slain aide, Gabe Zimmerman. Zimmerman, 30, was among six killed Saturday in a Tucson, Ariz., shooting rampage that left the Democratic congresswoman among 13 wounded.

He urged fellow House members to keep Giffords and her staff in their prayers and called the shootings outside a supermarket a reminder that public service “comes with a risk.”

He said normal House business this week is postponed to focus on any necessary actions in the shooting aftermath, and didn’t say whether any security changes are planned.

“This inhuman act should not, and will not, deter us from our calling to represent our constituents and to fulfill our oaths of office,” Boehner said. “No act, no matter how heinous, must be allowed to stop us from our duties.”

The Republican speaker didn’t take any questions before leaving the township government building near his West Chester, Ohio, home.

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