PHOENIX (AP) — Four years to the day after then-Rep. Gabrielle Giffords was shot, President Barack Obama says she still has "the same energy and passion that she always had."

Obama told a Phoenix audience Thursday that he met Giffords and her husband, Mark Kelly, while he was in town to give a speech on housing.

Obama called Giffords a hero, said he's proud of her and praised her gun control advocacy. He says even as she's waged her own fight to recover, she's been fighting to prevent the next tragedy.

Six people were killed and 13 were wounded in the 2011 shooting at a Giffords political event at a Tucson shopping center. Obama traveled to Tucson four days later to speak at a memorial service at the University of Arizona.