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Entries in Gabrielle Giffords (86)

Monday
Jan102011

9/11 Baby Among Those Killed in Tucson

John and Roxanna Green are mourning the death of their 9-year-old daughter Christina-Taylor. Photo Courtesy - ABC News(TUCSON, Ariz.) -- At just 9 years old, Christina-Taylor Green already had big plans to one day serve her country.

Christina-Taylor, who was the youngest of the six victims shot and killed Saturday during the shooting spree outside a Tucson, Ariz., grocery store, had gone to Rep. Gabrielle Giffords' political event to "learn more about politics," according to her mother, Roxanna Green.

"As young as she was, Christina-Taylor talked about getting all the parties to come together so we could live in a better country," Green told ABC News.  "She was going to Giffords' event to ask questions about how she could help and to learn more about politics in our country."

Christina-Taylor, the granddaughter of former Phillies manager Dallas Green, was taken to Giffords' informal town hall meeting by a neighbor who was considered her pseudo-aunt, said her mother.

She died on the scene from a single bullet wound to her chest when alleged gunman Jared Loughner opened fire, shooting a total of 20 people.

Christina-Taylor was born on September 11th, 2001 had used her birthdate as a source of inspiration during her short life.  She was featured in a book about babies born on 9/11 called "Faces of Hope."

"She was very interested in politics since she was a little girl," Green said.  "I think that being born on 9/11 had a lot to do with that."

"She always thought about how she was born on 9/11, and she saw the positive in it," Green said.  "She thought of it as a day of hope and change, a chance for the country to come together to be united."

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Sunday
Jan092011

Rep. Gabrielle Giffords Responds to Commands Following Shooting

Photo Courtesy - Getty Images(TUCSON, Ariz.) -- Rep. Gabrielle Giffords is responding to simple commands but is still in critical condition after suffering a gunshot wound to the head Saturday, according to her doctors.

"She is able to communicate through simple commands," said Dr. Michael Lemole, a surgeon at the University Medical Center in Tucson, Ariz., who treated Giffords. "And we're very encouraged by that."

"But she's still in critical condition and brain swelling can occur at any point, but I'm cautiously optimistic," he added. "We don't know what her deficits will be in the future."

Giffords is currently in a medically induced coma that doctors say will help her brain rest. Doctors also had to decompress her eyes. Eyelids often swell when there is trauma to the brain.

Giffords, 40, was shot in the back of her head, the bullet crossing the left side of her brain and exiting just above her left eye, said Dr. Peter Rhee, the director of Trauma and Critical Care at the University Medical Center.

Fourteen other people were wounded and six killed during the assassination attempt on Giffords at a political event outside a Tucson grocery store Saturday morning.

The alleged gunman, 22-year-old Jared Loughner, is in the custody of the Pima County Sheriff's Office. A criminal complaint filed in federal court Sunday afternoon charges Loughner with one count of attempted assassination of a member of Congress, two counts of killing an employee of the United States and two counts of intent to kill employees of the United States.

Giffords is unable to open her eyes and cannot speak because she is hooked up to a ventilator according to Rhee, but is able to respond when asked to squeeze her hand or hold up her fingers.

The dead have been identified as the 63-year-old Roll, 30-year-old Gabriel Zimmerman (Giffords' director of community outreach), 76-year-old Dorthy Morris, 76-year-old Dorwin Stoddard, 79-year-old Phyllis Scheck, and 9-year-old Christina Green, according to the Pima County Sheriff's Department.

Loughner legally purchased a Glock 19- 9mm gun at Sportsman's Warehouse in Tucson on Nov. 30, law enforcement officials said. It's unclear if he bought the extended clips used with the gun during the mass shooting. An extended clip holds 30 rounds, officials said.

Pima County Sheriff Clarence Dupnik described the alleged shooter as "mentally unstable."

Giffords, a representative for Arizona's 8th District who just won reelection to a third term, has been the target of conservative political opponents in recent months.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Sunday
Jan092011

Person of Interest in Arizona Shooting Is Cab Driver

Photo Courtesy - Pima County Sheriff's Department(TUCSON, Ariz.) -- The person of interest sought for questioning in the shooting of Arizona congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords is a cab driver who says he drove suspect Jared Lee Loughner to the site, according to the Pima County Sheriff's Department.

Authorities released a photo of a middle-aged white male possibly connected with the suspect in Saturday's mass shooting that killed six people, wounded 14 others and left an Arizona congresswoman in critical condition at a town hall event in Tucson, Ariz.

The Pima County Sheriff's Department said the man drove Loughner to the Safeway, and then followed him inside to question him about payment.

At a press conference in Tucson Sunday, FBI Director Robert Mueller said the individual was being sought for questioning because he was seen entering a grocery store near the event with Loughner, who has been arrested for the shooting of Rep. Giffords and 19 others, but authorities did not believe that the second individual was also a shooter. 

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Sunday
Jan092011

Jared Lee Loughner: School Wanted Mental Evaluation

Photo Courtesy - MySpace(TUCSON, Ariz.) -- Jared Lee Loughner, the suspect in custody following the murder of six people in an apparent assassination attempt on Arizona Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, purchased a semi-automatic handgun two months after his college said he would have to undergo a mental evaluation before returning from suspension, sources told ABC News.

The gun, a Glock 19 9mm, was purchased legally from a sports store in Tucson on Nov. 30, 2010, federal law enforcement officials told ABC News. Two months before, on Oct. 7, Pima Community College sent a letter to Loughner's parents stating that if Loughner wished to return to the school, he would have to "obtain a mental health clearance indicating, in the opinion of a mental health professional, his presence at the College does not present a danger to himself or others," the school said in a statement.

The school said Loughner had as many as five run-ins with campus police for "classroom and library disruptions," and was suspended after college police discovered a YouTube video apparently created by Loughner in which he claimed the college is "illegal." Rather than return to school, Loughner dropped out, the statement said.

Prima County Sheriff Clarence Dupnik, who only identified the shooter as a 22-year-old white male, said the evidence online and information they've received from two schools that Loughner attended led him to believe the gunman was "unstable."

Despite being shot in the head, Congresswoman Giffords survived the attack and doctors said Saturday they were "optimistic" about her recovery. Federal judge John Roll, a 9-year-old girl, and a member of Giffords' staff were killed in the attack. The staff member, Gabe Zimmerman, was Giffords' director of community outreach.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Sunday
Jan092011

Police Release Photo of Person of Interest in Ariz. Shooting Rampage

Photo Courtesy - Pima County Sheriff's Department(TUCSON, Ariz.) -- Authorities have released a photo of a man possibly connected with the suspect in Saturday's mass shooting that killed six people, wounded 12 others and left an Arizona congresswoman -- Rep. Gabrielle Giffords -- in critical condition at a town hall event in Tucson, Ariz. The person of interest was seen at the location of the event and may be connected with the suspect, according to authorities.

The person is described as a white male, about 40 to 50 years old with dark hair. He was last seen wearing blue jeans and a dark blue jacket, Pima County Sheriff's Department officials said in a news release.

"We are not convinced that [the gunman in custody] acted alone, there is some reason to believe he came to this location with another individual, and that individual is involved," said Pima County Sheriff Clarence Dupnik.

Anyone with information about this person of interest is asked to call 911 or the Federal Bureau of Investigation (520)-791-6974

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Saturday
Jan082011

Who Shot Rep. Gabrielle Giffords?

Photo Courtesy - Office of Rep. Gabrielle Giffords/MySpace/ABC News Illustration(TUCSON, Ariz.) -- The man who allegedly shot Arizona congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords has been identified as 22-year-old Jared Lee Loughner, ABC News has learned.

Giffords was shot, along with several other people including federal judge John Roll, outside a grocery store in Tucson, Ariz. where she was holding an event called Congress on Your Corner.

On a Myspace page apparently maintained by Loughner, he said goodbye to friends and said, "Please don't be mad at me... I cannot rest."

Authorities said the shooter was in custody.

Loughner reportedly made several YouTube videos with walls of text protesting the government and ranting against low literacy rates.

"Hello, my name is Jared Lee Loughner. This video is my introduction to you!" the video, uploaded Dec. 15, says. "My favorite activity is conscience dreaming; the greatest inspiration for my political business information. Some of you don't dream -- sadly... My ambition - is for informing literate dreamers about a new currency; in a few days, you know I'm conscience dreaming! Thank you!"

Congresswoman Giffords survived the shooting and doctors said she's expected to recover. Five others, including Judge Roll and a 9-year-old girl perished, President Obama said in an address Saturday.

Obama called the shooting "an unspeakable act."

According to an eye witness, the shooter "came out of nowhere" and unloaded two clips on Congresswoman Giffords and the gathered crowd, striking Giffords in the head.

Bystanders then tackled the shooter and held him until authorities intervened.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

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