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  • January 2011
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Arizona Shooting: Alleged Shooter to Appear in Court Today

Posted by Levine Communications Office on January 10, 2011

Tragedy struck Tuscon, Arizona this weekend when a shooter took the lives of 6 people and attempted the assassination of Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords (D-Arizona)  at a “Congress on Your Corner” event  Saturday.  The lone gunman, Jared Lee Loughner, 22, is scheduled to be arraigned in court today at 2pm MT.

Loughner opened fire on the crowd gathered in the Tuscon Safeway grocery store  parking lot shortly after 10am inquiring 14 and killing 6 people: Chief Federal Court judge John Roll (63) 9-year-old Christina Taylor Green, Gifford’s Director of Communications, Gabe Zimmerman (30)and retirees and Arizona residents Dorwin Stoddard (76),  Dorothy Morris (76) Phyllis Schneck (79).  His main target however was U.S. Rep Giffords (40) whom Loughner shot in the head at point black range.  Giffords remains in critical condition following the attack, however her doctors are “optimistic” about her recovery.

Loughner has been charged on three counts: first degree murder, attempted murder and attempting to kill a member of congress.  The state is set to also bring charged against the gunman.

This weekends’ events have also sparked a heated conversation about the climate of the current political rhetoric and what role it had to play in this tragedy.   Oddly enough, prior to her shooting, Giffords felt that the rhetoric did in fact need to be turned down and she expressed this in an email written to Arizona Secretary of State Trey Grayson (R).    In her note to Grayson, Gifford said

“After you get settled, I would love to talk about what we can do to promote centrism and moderation,” wrote Giffords. “I am one of only 12 Dems left in a GOP district (the only woman) and think that we need to figure out how to tone our rhetoric and partisanship down.”

Pima County Sheriff Clarance Dupnik has also been very vocal this weekend.  During an interview with ABC News, Sheriff Dupnik explained his feeling towards the recent events saying:

“We have become a very angry country, part of it very ugly. And that even though we have free speech in this country, constantly 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, making the people angry at government . . . may benefit some party, but I think those people have to consider that they may have some responsibility when incidents like this occur and may occur in the future.”

Authorities are still conducting an investigation into what led Loughner to commit this crime and if he did in fact act alone.  There has been no concrete evidence disclosed at this time linking him to any specific agenda.

Stay tuned for emerging details.

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