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Arizona Shooting

January 9, 2011 by staff 

Arizona Shooting, (AP) – Rep. Gabrielle Giffords remained sedated and in critical condition Sunday, investigators sought to understand what motivated a gunman to perform an assassination attempt on Democratic legislators in a rampage that killed six people.

University Medical Center, spokeswoman Darci Slaten told The Associated Press that Giffords had surgery for two hours on Saturday and has not been conscious since the shooting. She said more information would be released at a news conference in which one of the doctors who operated Giffords plans to speak.

Outside the hospital, memorial candles flickered in the capital. Read signs “Peace + Love is stronger,” God Bless America”and “We love you, Gabrielle.” People have also provided bouquets of flowers, American flags and pictures of Giffords.

Authorities said a man attacked Giffords, 40, during a public rally with a semiautomatic weapon about 10 hours Saturday before a busy supermarket Tucson. Arizona federal judge in chief and five others were killed and 14 people were injured, including the Democratic legislature.

He also shot his district director and fired indiscriminately on employees and others standing in line to talk to Congressman said Mark Kimble, a member of staff communication to Giffords.

“He was not more than three or four feet of the member and the district director, said Kimble, describing the scene as” just complete chaos, people screaming, crying. ”

Pima County Sheriff Clarence Dupnik said the rampage ended only after two people approached the shooter.

“He was definitely on a mission,” according to Alex Villeca, volunteer activity, Giffords former student.

Police said the shooter was in custody and was identified by people familiar with the investigation that Jared Loughner, 22. U.S. officials who gave his name to the AP spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to make public.

His motivation was not immediately known, but Dupnik described as mentally unstable and possibly acting with an accomplice.

His office said a man may be associated with the suspect who was near the scene was sought. The man, who was photographed by a security camera, was described as white with dark hair and 40-45 years.

The assassination attempt left Americans wondering if the politics of division had driven the suspect on the edge.

A shaken President Barack Obama has called the attack “a tragedy for our entire country.”

The Attorney General Eric Holder said in a statement Sunday that FBI Director Robert Mueller was traveling to Arizona to help coordinate the investigation.

In a brief statement Sunday morning, Speaker of the House John Boehner said the flags on the House side of the Capitol in Washington will be flown at half mast to honor the slain aid staff Giffords, Gabe Zimmerman. Boehner said the normal business of the House this week was postponed to focus on all action necessary following the shooting.

Strong reaction from abroad as well.

British Prime Minister David Cameron expressed his dismay at the shooting, and added that he shared the conviction of President Barack Obama that “we must never allow hatred and violence to settle political discourse which is open our protection the most secure. ”

Fidel Castro also denounced the attack as horrific. “Even those of us who do not share at all the politics and philosophy (the Obama administration) sincerely desire that no child, judges, legislators and citizens of the United States die of a perverse and unjustifiable, “Castro said in an opinion piece entitled” An atrocity, “published in the Cuban media controlled by the state.

Giffords is a moderate Democrat who narrowly won reelection in November against a tea party candidate who sought him no office in his support for the law on health care. Anger over his position became violent at times, with his Tucson office vandalized after the House passed last revised in March and someone to attend a recent meeting with a weapon.

The authorities said the dead included U.S. District Judge John Roll, 63, Christina Greene, 9; help Giffords Zimmerman, 30, Dorothy Morris, 76; Dorwin Stoddard, 76, and Phyllis Scheck, 79.

The sheriff has blamed the political discourse vitriolic consumed in the country, although it occurs in Arizona.

Giffords expressed similar concerns, even before the shooting. In an interview after his office was vandalized, she referred to the animosity against him by conservatives, including Palin’s decision to list seat Giffords’ as one of the best “targets” in the elections midterm.

“For example, we are on a targeted list of Sarah Palin, but the thing is, that the way she has painted the crosshairs of a sight on our district. When people do that, they must realize that there are consequences to this action, “Giffords said in an interview with MSNBC.

In the hours after the shooting, Palin issued a statement in which she expressed her “deepest condolences” to the Giffords family and other victims.

During his campaign effort to overthrow Giffords in November, Republican opponent Jesse Kelly held fundraisers where he urged supporters to help remove from office by Giffords to join him to shoot a fully loaded M-16 rifle. Kelly is a former Marine who served in Iraq and was described on its website in military gear and holding his automatic weapon to promote the event.

“I do not see the connection” between the fundraisers with weapons and shooting on Saturday, said John Ellinwood, spokeswoman Kelly. “I do not know this person, we can not find any records that he has been associated with the campaign in any way. I do not see the connection.

“Arizona is a state where people own firearms -. It was just a deranged individual”

Enforcement of the law said that members of Congress have reported 42 cases of threats or violence during the first three months of 2010, nearly three times the 15 cases reported during the same period a year earlier. Almost all treaties with the Bill of health care, and Giffords was among the targets.

The shooting cast a pall over the Capitol as politicians of all stripes denounced the attack as horrific. Capitol Police urged members of Congress to be more vigilant about security in the wake of the shooting. Obama has dispatched his chief of the FBI in Arizona.

Slaten said that nine injured were treated at the hospital.

Giffords spokesman said Chief Karamargin also help, Zimmerman was killed and two other staff members were killed, but Giffords should survive. Zimmerman was a former social worker that has served as Director Giffords’ community outreach.

The little 9-year-old daughter who died was the granddaughter of former Phillies manager Dallas Green Phidadelphia, now an adviser to the executive team he has managed to World Series championship in 1980.

“It was a young and talented girl with a bright future. His untimely death weighs heavily on our hearts,” team president David Montgomery said Sunday. The Phillies of the name of the girl was said Christina Taylor -Green; authorities in Arizona gave a different spelling, Christina Greene.

Greg Segalini, an uncle of the girl, told the Arizona Republic that a neighbor was going to the event and its guests, and because she had just been elected student council and was interested within government.

Christina, who was born September 11, 2001, was involved in various activities ranging from ballet to baseball, and had just received his first communion at Saint Odile Catholic Church in Tucson Catholic Diocese of Tucson officials told The Arizona Daily Star.

His date of birth undoubtedly helped interest income of the girl in politics, her mother, Roxanna Green, told the Star. She was one of 50 babies born on September 11 featured in a book entitled “Faces of Hope.”

“She was born back East and September 11 there are all those affected, and Christina Taylor has always been very aware. She was very patriotic and wearing red, white and blue was really special to her,” said his mother.

A former classmate as a pot-smoking loner described Loughner The suspect, and the army had tried to enlist in December 2008 but was dismissed for undisclosed reasons.

The federal law enforcement were considered versions of a MySpace page that included a mysterious “friends Goodbye” message issued hours before the shooting and urged his friends to “please do not be angry cons me. ” In one of several YouTube videos, which presented the text on a dark background, describes Loughner invent a new currency of the United States and complained of the illiteracy rate among people living in Congressional District Giffords in Arizona.

“I know who heed government officials and people,” writes Loughner. “Almost all people who do not know the exact information of a new currency are not aware of mind control and methods of brainwashing. If I have my civil rights, then this message would not be (sic). ”

In the middle-class neighborhood of Loughner – on a five-minute ride from the scene – sheriff’s deputies had blocked many of the streets. The neighborhood is located just off a busy street in Tucson and is bounded on the landscaping of the desert and palm trees.

Neighbors said Loughner lived with his parents and kept to himself. He was often seen walking his dog, almost always wearing a hooded sweatshirt and listening to his iPod.

View Loughner’s MySpace profile says he attended and graduated from school in Tucson and took college courses. He did not say if it was used.

High school classmate Grant Wiens, 22, said Loughner seemed to be “floating in life” and “do his own thing.”

“Sometimes religion has been brought or drugs. He smoked marijuana, I do not know how regularly. And it was not too keen on religion, from what I could tell, “said Wiens.

Lynda Sorenson said she took a math course with Loughner last summer on the campus of Pima Community College Northwest told the Arizona Daily Star that he was “obviously very upset.”” He often disrupted class with bursts of nonsense, “she said.

In October 2007, Loughner was quoted in Pima County for possession of drug paraphernalia, which was dismissed after completing a diversion program, according to online records.

Giffords was first elected to Congress amid a wave of Democratic victories in the 2006 election, and was mentioned as a possible candidate for Senate in 2012 and a prospect for governor in 2014.

She is married to astronaut Mark E. Kelly, who piloted space shuttles Endeavour and Discovery. The two met in China in 2003 while they were serving on a committee there, and were married in January 2007. Senator Bill Nelson, chairman of the Senate Commerce space and science subcommittee, said Kelly is training to be the next commander of the Space Shuttle mission scheduled for April. His brother is currently aboard the International Space Station, said Nelson.

Associated Press Writer Amanda Lee Myers and Terry Tang in Tucson, Jacques Billeaud, Bob Christie and Paul Davenport in Phoenix, David Espo and Matt Apuzzo, Eileen Sullivan, Adam Goldman and Charles Babington in Washington contributed to this report.

Copyright © 2011 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.

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