Today is the one year anniversary of the attempted assassination of Rep Gabrielle Giffords (D-AZ) by Jared Loughner that killed six people and wounded 13 including Rep. Giffords.
She was hosting a ‘Congress On Your Corner’ constituent meeting in the parking lot of a suburban Safeway store on that fateful day when at 10:11 AM MST Loughner drew a pistol and shot Congresswoman Giffords in the head and then began randomly shooting at other people in the crowd.
Five of the six people killed died at the scene except for 9 year old Christina Taylor-Green. The five who died at the scene were Gabriel Zimmerman, one of Congresswoman Giffords staffers, US Judge John Roll, Phyllis Schneck, Dorwan Stoddard, and Dorothy Moore.
Giffords survived the shooting due to her intern Daniel Hernandez, Jr’s ‘s quick thinking and assistance. her condition stabilized enough to the poit that she was transferred to Houston on January 21 to begin the lengthy rehabilitation process. She made such remarkable progress that she was present in the House of representattives on August 1 to vote in favor of raising the debt limit ceiling.
Loughner was indicted on January 19 by a federal grand jury on three counts for attempting to kill Congresswoman Giffords and federal employees Ron Barber and Pamela Simon. He was also found after two medical examinations on May 25 incompetent to stand trail
Loughner is facing a total of 49 counts on the federal level, and the state of
Arizona has filed murder and attempted murder charges for the victims
who were not federal employees If he’s convicted in either federal or state court, he could possibly face the death penalty.
Because of the assassination of Judge Roll, all federal judges in Arizona recused themselves from the case because of his role as the Chief Judge for the District of Arizona. It is being heard by a San Diego based federal judge. The alleged assassin is being held without bail in a federal facility in Phoenix without bail and is still awaiting trial for the crime.
Let’s also hope justice is served as the legal process winds its way through the court system
There was also political fallout in the wake of the shooting with the person most affected being Sarah Palin.
It’s been a year since this tragic event happened, and the city of Tucson and the people affected by it are still trying to rebuild their lives in various ways.
Safeway Inc. has put together and unveiled a landscaped memorial plaque near the entrance to the store to remember the victims of that day.
Bells will ring in the area starting at 10:11 AM, the time the shooting started with congresswoman Giffords attending a memorial service later that evening.