Entries in Jared Loughner (4)


Gabrielle Giffords, Mark Kelly to Appear at Loughner Sentencing

Valerie Macon/Getty Images(TUCSON, Ariz.) -- A source close to former Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords and Shuttle Commander Mark Kelly tells ABC News exclusively that both Giffords and Kelly will be at the sentencing of Tucson gunman Jared Loughner Thursday.

It is expected that Kelly will make a statement in court on behalf of the couple with Giffords standing at his side.

This will be the first time the couple see Loughner in person.

On Jan. 8, 2011, Giffords was shot in the head while meeting constituents at an Arizona supermarket. In August 2012, Loughner pleaded guilty to the mass shooting that left six dead.

Giffords, who made a remarkable recovery, stepped down from the House in January 2012.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Gabrielle Giffords: Tucson Marks First Anniversary of Shooting

Tom Willett/Getty Images(TUCSON) -- Bells will ring 19 times Sunday morning, once for each victim of the Tucson shooting that happened one year ago, ushering in an emotional day of remembrance that will culminate this evening in a candlelight vigil attended by Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, D-Ariz., and her husband, astronaut Mark Kelly.

"Congresswoman Giffords wanted to be back in Tucson for this very emotional weekend," said Pia Carusone, Giffords' chief of staff, in a statement.

What was supposed to be an ordinary January morning in Tucson turned into a nightmare that has haunted those who experienced the terror when Jared Lee Loughner, 22, unleashed a barrage of bullets on the crowd, after sending the first one straight through the back of Giffords' head.

After hitting the Congresswoman, Loughner continued to fire from his Glock semi-automatic pistol without discrimination, hitting 18 more people.

Among those hit, six people died, including Gabe Zimmerman, 30, Giffords' outreach director who organized the Congress On Your Corner event where he was shot to death; John Roll, 63, a federal judge; Phyllis Schneck, 79; Dorothy Morris, 76; Dorwan Stoddard, 76; and Christina Taylor-Green, 9.

As the first anniversary approached, seven survivors of the massacre stepped forward and shared their recollection of Jan. 8, 2011, with the Fix Gun Checks campaign, a byproduct of the Mayors Against Illegal Guns campaign, which seeks to keep criminals from illegally obtaining guns.

"Things went gray for me. I could just see shadows," Randy Gardner said in the video, which was posted online. Gardner was shot in his right foot while waiting to speak with Giffords.

"People were just spreading out in front of me like a wave, trying to go for cover, falling in the ground," he recalled.

Nancy Bowman, a nurse who was only a few steps inside the Safeway when Loughner opened fire at 10:11 a.m., said the scene was a "war zone" and that there was nothing in her 30 year career that could have prepared her for the carnage she witnessed.

"It makes you appreciate every single day," she said in the video. "It makes you wonder why you were five seconds into the Safeway and not standing right there where the gunman was.

What it sure to be a sad and trying day for the victims and the community will close with a ray of hope.

Giffords, who has made miraculous progress in her recovery, will attend a public candlelight vigil Sunday night in Tucson with her husband, Mark Kelly.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Pima Co. GOP to Raffle Same Type Gun Used to Shoot Rep. Giffords

Tom Williams/Roll Call(TUCSON, Ariz.) -- Forget quilts and cookies, the Pima County Republican Party in Arizona is auctioning off a handgun at their next party fundraiser. And not just any handgun -- the same series of pistol that was used in the Tucson shooting of Rep. Gabriel Giffords in January.

“Help Pima County get out the vote and maybe help yourself to a new Glock .45. Get yourself a new Glock 23 .40 cal handgun for just 10 bucks -- if your name is drawn. That’s right for just 10 dollars this gun could be yours,” reads the Pima GOP’s flyer that was sent to supporters Aug. 26.

The text is followed by a large photo of the handgun and a note that the gun comes with three 12-round magazines.

“This raffle shows a stunning lack of judgment and sensitivity in raffling of the same make of weapon used in the January shooting,” said Jeff Rogers, the chairman of the Pima County Democratic Party. Pima County includes Tucson. “It’s a slap in the face of a grieving community.”

Rogers said the Glock 23 that the GOP plans to raffle off is a more powerful, more easily concealed version of the Glock 19 used to shoot Giffords.

“If these guys had chosen to raffle off a shotgun or a hunting rifle it might not have gone so nuts on the Internet,” he said. “We’re pretty raw and still on edge down here and it certainly doesn’t help to heal this community.”

Pima GOP’s interim director, Mark Shaw, said “there weren’t any concerns” about the gun raffle until The Huffington Post reported about it Thursday.

“We at the Pima GOP regard gun ownership as a constitutional right and an Arizona tradition,” Shaw said. “We’re just standing on the Second Amendment and we certainly don’t feel like we’re doing something wrong.”

But the former leader of the Pima County GOP told Talking Points Memo he disagrees with his predecessor.

“There’s a woman who has a bullet in the brain and who everybody is wishing a full recovery,” Brian Miller, the immediate past chair of the Pima County GOP told TPM. “I don’t think that raffling off a firearm right now is probably the right way to go.”

Giffords, D-Ariz., is still recovering after being shot in the head by 22-year-old Jared Loughner in January. Six others were shot and killed at the open meeting the congresswoman was holding at a Tucson Safeway grocery store.

Gifford’s spokesman Mike Kimball declined to comment on the gun raffle, saying only that “we don’t, as a congressional office, get involved in political issues at all.”

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Judge Rules Prison Officials Can Force Jared Loughner to Take Meds

Pima County Sheriff's Department(TUCSON, Ariz.) -- U.S. District Judge Larry Burns ruled in an emergency hearing Wednesday that prison officials could force Jared Lee Loughner, charged in the Tucson, Ariz. shooting that left six dead and 13 wounded, including Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, to take anti-psychotic medication.

In his decision, Burns said he was deferring to trained psychiatrists and medical personnel in Missouri, where Loughner has been confined in a prison medical facility, who have found Loughner to be dangerous.

The emergency hearing came after the release of a new court filing that offered insight into Loughner's disturbing behavior and raised more questions about whether he could ever be considered psychologically fit enough to stand trial.

Tuesday's filing said that on April 4 Loughner spat at his lawyer and lunged at her before prison staff restrained him.

The filing also said that an angry Loughner used profanities and threw a plastic chair at a psychiatrist multiple times during a taped interview on March 28. He also hurled a wet toilet paper roll at a camera that was in the room.

Prosecutors have used these incidents to argue in the court filings that Loughner should be given anti-psychotic medication. They claim he is a danger to others.

But Loughner's lawyers argued that he should not be forced to take medications without court approval. That approval came Wednesday.

Last month, Burns ruled that Loughner was not competent to stand trial because he was a paranoid schizophrenic and delusional. The judge has also denied two requests from Loughner's attorneys that they be notified before he is medicated.

Loughner has been held at a prison medical facility in Springfield, Mo., where psychiatrists are trying to restore his mental health so that he can participate in court proceedings. He arrived at the facility on May 28 and could spend up to four months there.

Loughner has pleaded not guilty to the 49 charges against him stemming from the Jan. 8 shooting.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

ABC News Radio