Monday, January 10, 2011; 1:53 PM
On Saturday January 8, while meeting consituents in Tucson Arizona, Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords and 19 others came under fire from a lone gunman:
The mass shooting Saturday morning that gravely wounded Rep. Gabrielle Giffords (D-Ariz.) and killed a federal judge raised serious concerns that the nation's heated political discourse had taken a dangerous turn.
Police are holding a 22-year-old man in the shooting rampage, which occurred outside a supermarket where Giffords was greeting constituents. The gunman shot Giffords in the head at close range and then continued to fire into the small gathering of people, police said. Police said they think that Giffords was the target of the attack.
Law enforcement and medical officials in Arizona said that at least 18 people were shot in the melee and that six of them had died, including John M. Roll, the chief U.S. District judge in Arizona, and Gabe Zimmerman, Giffords's local director of community outreach. Also killed was Christina Taylor Green, 9, who was born on Sept. 11, 2001, and had gone to the event with a neighbor. Two other Giffords staffers, district director Ron Barber and community outreach aide Pam Simon, were wounded.
After being gravely wounded in the attack, Rep. Gabrielle Giffords continued her recovery in a Tucson hospital:
The 40-year-old lawmaker was shot through the head Saturday, allegedly targeted by a deranged constituent. Doctors said Sunday that the passage of the bullet through only one side of her brain and her initial responsiveness give hope she could survive and even possibly recover.
"We are more and more encouraged," physician Michael Lemole, who is treating Giffords, said on ABC's "Good Morning America." He said doctors "want to start getting her out of bed in coming days" to avoid blood clots, and will be watching out for signs of new internal bleeding or infection.
The Arizona Democrat has entered a crucial 48-hour period when swelling from the trauma of the bullet blast could cause as much damage to her brain as the initial wound, possibly triggering a major deterioration of her condition, medical experts said. Giffords also likely faces a long period of rehabilitation to limit permanent disabilities.
There were twenty casualties in the mass shooting, six of which were fatalities. The six Tucson shooting victims who lost their lives are remembered:
Christina-Taylor Green: A "Face of Hope," this 9-year-old politician often wore red, white and blue in honor of her country.
Gabe Zimmerman: Recently engaged and one of Giffords's aides, he was known as a master in dealing with other people.
John M. Roll: A widely respected federal judge, Roll received death threats in 2009 after his decision allowed a case brought forward by illegal immigrants to proceed to a jury trial.
Dorwin Stoddard: A fixture at the Mountain Avenue Church of Christ, Stoddard blocked his wife from gunfire, eyewitness reports said.
Phyllis Schneck: A great-grandmother, the 79-year-old retiree admired Giffords's stance on border safety.
Dorothy Morris: The 76-year-old retiree, Dorothy Morris, attended the event with her husband and high school sweetheart George Morris.