Entries in Arizona Shootings (3)


Gabrielle Giffords, Husband to Appear on ABC TV Special

Tom Williams/Roll Call(NEW YORK) -- Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords and her husband, former space shuttle commander Mark Kelly, will appear on an ABC Television Network special in November in what will be their first interview together since Giffords was shot and seriously wounded during a meet-and-greet event in Tucson last January.

The special airing on Nov. 14 at 10 p.m. ET will occur one day before the publication of the couple's memoir, Gabby: A Story of Courage and Hope.

ABC World News anchor Diana Sawyer hosts the program that will follow Giffords' and Kelly's lives together before and after the shooting that left six people dead and 13 wounded, including the Arizona Democrat who suffered a bullet wound to the brain.

Giffords' recovery has been described as miraculous given the extent of her injury, although she continues to undergo rehabilitation and is likely to for some time.

Her actual participation in the interview with Sawyer will largely depend on the progress of her recovery.

Giffords appeared in Washington last month for the first time since the shooting to vote on the debt ceiling bill that eventually passed Congress.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Jared Loughner's Defense Team Examining Family's Mental Health

Pima County Sheriff's Department(TUCSON, Ariz.) -- Jared Lee Loughner's defense team is delving into his family's medical history, possibly looking for evidence of mental illness.

Loughner, who faces 49 charges stemming from the Tucson, Arizona shooting spree that killed six people and injured 13 others, has been diagnosed with schizophrenia -- a chronic, severe disabling brain disorder that has a significant genetic component.  And in a move that could bolster his defense, Loughner's lawyers have subpoenaed public health records from 22 of his maternal relatives dating back to 1893, The New York Times reported.

"If there are a lot of people who have a schizophrenia diagnosis in his family, that does sort of add weight to the issue that this kid was at a huge genetic risk," said Dr. Charles Raison, associate professor in the department of psychiatry and behavioral sciences at Emory University School of Medicine in Atlanta.  "It could have emotional effect on a jury.  It could heighten the sense that this was not his fault."

Loughner's mental health has been the subject of much attention since his arrest in the Jan. 8 shootout at a constituent meet-and-greet with Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, who sustained a gunshot wound to the head, but miraculously survived.  A court-ordered psychiatric evaluation concluded that 22-year-old Loughner has delusions and hallucinations -- psychotic symptoms that can distort a person's perception of reality.

"We know that psychotic illnesses run in families," said Raison, adding that the genetic contribution to mental illness can be as high as 70 percent, depending on the diagnosis.  "People with schizophrenia are often related to other people with schizophrenia and to people who are odd or isolative...It's not a specific disease state that's inherited; it's this vulnerability to have this sort of odd behavior or odd way of thinking."

In May, a federal judge deemed Loughner mentally unfit to stand trial.  But it's his mental state at the time of the attack that will determine his sentence.

"The only way to really assess what role psychosis played in his actions is for him to be able to explain what he thought he was doing," said Raison, adding that psychotic people tend to have a logical rationale for their delusional thought process.  "No matter how bizarre the reasoning is, it makes sense.  We don't believe it, but it makes sense."

Loughner has been forced to take antipsychotic drugs during his stay at a federal psychiatric facility in Springfield, Missouri, and a hearing scheduled for Sept. 21 will determine whether his mental state has improved enough for him to participate in his defense.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Glock 19: How Did Unemployed Loughner Buy Expensive Pistol?

Photo Courtesy - Pima County Sheriff's Department(TUCSON, Ariz.) – Questions remain about how Jared Lee Loughner could afford the Glock 19 he allegedly used in the attempted assassination of Rep. Gabrielle Giffords. The popular firearm costs about $450, not including ammunition and magazines.

Loughner legally purchased the Glock at a Sportsman's Warehouse chain store in Tucson on Nov. 30 after completing a form and passing a background check. Walmart Inc. confirmed that Loughner tried to buy ammunition at one of its stores but was refused service due to "strange behavior," according to the FBI. He was later able to get it at another Walmart.

Sportsman's Warehouse had no comment about Loughner's method of payment. Jason Ogan, spokesman for the Pima County Sheriff's Department, said he did not have information related to Loughner's payment method either.

Loughner appeared Monday before a Phoenix judge, who assigned him two public defenders. Based on a financial affidavit that Loughner signed, the judge said he might not be able to afford defense attorneys.

Six people were killed and 14 injured in Tucson on Saturday. Giffords, shot in the left hemisphere of the brain, was in critical condition in a Tucson hospital. Loughner is charged with one federal count of attempted assassination of a member of Congress, two counts of killing an employee of the federal government, and two counts of attempting to kill a federal employee.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

ABC News Radio