Witness: Arizona gunman 'was ready for war'
Law enforcement arrives Saturday outside a Safeway grocery store in Tucson, Arizona, after several people were shot.
January 8th, 2011
10:30 PM ET

Witness: Arizona gunman 'was ready for war'

More coverage on the shootings from affiliates KOLD, KVOA, KMSB, KPHO and KGUN.

[Updated at 10:30 p.m. ET] A man who helped subdue the gunman in Saturday's Arizona shooting spree said the man was trying to reload when he was tackled to the ground.

"He was ready for war. He was not playing around," Joe Zamudio told CNN. "He was going to keep shooting. It was not over. He had just ran out of bullets."

The gun, which another bystander had wrestled from the gunman, was empty and cocked open, and the shooter had another magazine at the ready, Zamudio said.

Zamudio pinned him to the ground until police showed up. The suspect, 22-year-old Jared Lee Loughner, is in custody of the Pima County Sheriff's Office, and authorities are obtaining search warrants for a residence and his vehicle. Authorities also are seeking a person of interest but his suspected connection to the incident is unclear.

Loughner is accused of shooting 18 people, including U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, a third-term Democrat who had organized the "Congress on Your Corner" meet and greet. Authorities believe the gunman had specifically targeted Giffords. She is in critical condition after undergoing surgery for a single gunshot wound to the head, but doctors said they are optimistic over her prospects for recovery.

Watch a timeline of events

Eleven others were wounded in the shooting and six are dead, among them U.S. District Court Judge John Rolls, a friend of Giffords' who had stopped by the event to say hello after attending Mass, Pima County Sheriff Clarence Dupnik said.

Also killed was Giffords staffer Gabe Zimmerman, director of community outreach who had coordinated the event to introduce Giffords to her constituents.

A 9-year-old girl also was killed.

The shooting sent shock waves through Washington, where Giffords was regarded as gracious and kind, a moderate Democrat known for her dedication to her constituents and willingness to work across party lines.

In light of the shootings, all legislation on the House schedule for the coming week has been postponed, House Majority Leader Eric Cantor announced in a statement.

Americans also struggled to come to terms with the event. Many of them showed up to a vigil at the Arizona State Capitol to pray together and share their thoughts.

In the Twitterverse, theories abounded as to the gunman's motivation. Meanwhile, while speaking to the press , the sheriff lamented "the vitriolic rhetoric" in American political discourse, suggesting it played a role in the shooting.

"This has not become the nice United States of America that most of us grew up in and I think its time we do the soul-searching," he said.

"The anger, the hatred the bigotry that goes on in this country is getting to be outrageous and unfortunately, Arizona has become the capital. We have become the mecca of prejudice and bigotry."

[Updated at 10:00 p.m. ET] A House vote scheduled for Monday on whether to repeal health care legislation has been postponed after Saturday's shooting.

All legislation on the House schedule for the coming week has been postponed in a decision by leaders of both political parties in the House so "we can take whatever actions may be necessary in light of today's tragedy," House Majority Leader Eric Cantor said in a statement.

Read more on CNN.com

[Updated at 9:13 p.m. ET] Some who knew Giffords and others who just wanted an outlet for emotions in the wake of the shooting rampage gathered on Capitol Hill Saturday night to honor the victims.

More than 50 marchers braved subfreezing temperatures and gusty winds to march to the Capitol and up the west steps to hold the vigil.

Read more on CNN.com

[Updated at 8:55 p.m. ET] A  law enforcement source familiar with the investigation says the Glock model 19 used in the shootings was purchased legally. The official did not have details at this time as to when and where the gun was purchased.

The gun was loaded with a 30-round magazine. The official said it is likely the extended magazine used in the shooting  was purchased separately and at a different time. The official said such a magazine does not automatically come with a weapons purchase and that it would be extremely rare for them to be sold together in one purchase.

The official said the suspect had purchased another gun a few years ago but this person did not know the details about what happened to that weapon and if the alleged shooter still owned it.

[Updated at 8:23 p.m. ET] Officials are not convinced that the suspected gunman acted alone, Pima County Sheriff Clarence Dupnik told reporters.

Law enforcement is actively searching for a "person of interest" who is a white male in his 50s believed to have assisted the suspect in a shooting, Dupnik said.

A suspect who Dupnik would not name is in the custody of the Pima County Sheriff's Office, he said. The suspect has had previous contact with law enforcement "regarding threats" to kill, Dupnik said, and described him as having a "troubled past."

CNN has confirmed that the suspect's name is Jared Lee Loughner, 22, whose apparent online footprint professes an distrust of government and a fondness for books such as "Mein Kampf," "The Communist Manifesto," "Peter Pan" and "The Republic."

"There's reason to believe this individual has a mental issue and I think that people who are unbalanced are especially susceptible to vitriol," he said.

"Vitriol" in public debate was a recurring theme in Dupnik's remarks as he blasted the media for "the vitriolic rhetoric" heard on television and radio.

[Updated at 7:57 p.m. ET] Gabe Zimmerman, director of community outreach for U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, was among those killed in Saturday's shooting at a constituents meeting outside a Tucson Safeway, Gifford press secretary CJ Karamargin said.

Zimmerman was the staff member who set up today’s event in Giffords’ district, Karamargin said. The Tucson native was engaged to be married.

[Updated at 7:43 p.m. ET] The Army said in a statement that the suspect in the shooting was never in the Army.

"He attempted to enlist in the Army but was rejected for service.  In accordance with the Privacy Act, we will not discuss why he was rejected," the Army said in a statement.

[Updated at 7:21 p.m. ET] Jared Lee Loughner, the suspect, had a limited presence on social-media sites, including YouTube and MySpace. Here's a sampling of some of the messages that CNN found on Loughner's pages:

MySpace

December 26, 2010: I'm not going to change the mistakes, you don't know – funny! (I think the CIA watches my-space)

December 30, 2010: I now understand a certain word - Cult!

YouTube

December 15, 2010: If I define terrorist then a terrorist is a person who employs terror or terrorism, especially as a political weapon.

I define terrorist.

Thus a terrorist is a person who employs terror or terrorism, especially
as a political weapon.

If you call me a terrorist then the argument to call me a terrorist is Ad hominem.

You call me a terrorist.

Thus the argument to call me a terrorist is Ad hominem.

December 15, 2010: The majority of citizens in the United States of America have never read the United States of America's Constitution.

You don't have to accept the federalist laws.

Nonetheless, read the United States of America's  Constitution to apprehend all of the current treasonous laws.

You're literate, listener?

Read more about Loughner's digital footprint on CNN.com

[Updated at 7:12 p.m. ET] The University of Arizona's men's basketball game against Stanford University has been postponed following the shootings.

"The University feels the game should be delayed with deep respect to the victims and families impacted by this tragedy," Arizona athletics director Greg Byrne said.

The game will be played at 12:30 p.m. MST Sunday.

[Updated at 6:48 p.m. ET] Saturday's deadly shootings at an Arizona constituency meeting outside a Tucson Safeway appear to have “no nexus to terrorism," a law enforcement official said.

This official did not know if there had been any recent threat against Rep Giffords but said there are frequent threats to various members of Congress, mostly via phone  calls or e-mails, or mailed threats.

[Updated at 6:30 p.m. ET] U.S. Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts released this statement on the death of U.S. District Court Chief Judge John Roll, who was killed in the shootings:

"Chief Judge John Roll was a wise jurist who selflessly served Arizona and the nation with great distinction, as attorney and judge, for more than 35 years.  I express my deepest condolences to his wife Maureen and his children, as well as the other victims and their families.  Chief Judge Roll’s death is a somber reminder of the importance of the rule of law and the sacrifices of those who work to secure it."

[Updated at 6:16 p.m. ET] The Tea Party released this statement regarding the shootings:

“We at the Tea Party Express are shocked and saddened to hear about the terrible tragedy that took place in Tucson today. It is appalling that anyone would commit such unthinkable violence against Congresswoman Gabrielle Gifford, her staff, a sitting federal judge and the many other victims and families impacted.

"These heinous crimes have no place in America, and they are especially grievous when committed against our elected officials. Spirited debate is desirable in our country, but it only should be the clash of ideas.  An attack on anyone for political purposes, if that was a factor in this shooting, is an attack on the democratic process.  We join with everyone in vociferously condemning it."

Read the full story on CNN.com

[Updated at 5:41 p.m. ET] Who is Gabrielle Giffords? She's a Democrat who was first elected in 2006. She has served as chairwoman of the House Space and Aeronautics Subcommittee and also holds seats on the House Science and Technology and Armed Services committees.

She won her third term in a closely contested race against a Tea Party-sponsored candidate and was one of three Democratic legislators who reported vandalism at their offices following the March vote on health care reform.

She is married to Navy Capt. Mark Kelly, a NASA astronaut who is scheduled to lead a space shuttle mission to the International Space Station. The two married in 2007, after meeting four years prior in China, as young leaders selected by the National Committee on U.S.-China Relations, Giffords told the New York Times in her wedding announcement.

The article described their courtship as a drawn-out affair between two deeply committed civic servants who slowly found their way to each other. When they met, Giffords was seeing someone and Kelly was married.

After Giffords split from her boyfriend, she invited Kelly to join her on a tour of the Arizona State Prison in Florence.

"I’d been working on legislation dealing with capital punishment. Mark is the son of police officers — well, he just really wanted to sit in ‘the chair,' " she told the newspaper.

The two married three years later, they married at an organic produce farm in Amado, Arizona, called Agua Linda. An avid recycler, Giffords wore a Vera Wang gown borrowed from a friend.

"To a bride who moves at a velocity that exceeds that of anyone else in Washington, and a groom who moves at a velocity that exceeds 17,000 miles per hour," a wedding guest said in a toast to the couple.

[Updated at 5:20 p.m. ET] Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer expressed condolences for the shooting victims - 6 are dead and 12 injured.

"I am just heartbroken. Gabby (Giffords) is more than just a colleague she is a friend. She has always been a noble public servant," an emotional Brewer said, pausing for composure.

"I ask the people of Arizona and the people of America to keep the victims and their families in their prayers, and pray for their recovery and pray that in Arizona we never have to experience a tragedy like this ever again."

Giffords publicized the "Congress on Your Corner" meet-up at the Safeway in her southern Arizona district on her Twitter account.

Judge John Roll, the chief judge on the U.S. District Court for Arizona, was among 6 people killed, along with a 9-year-old girl, officials said.

Witnesses said the gunman shot Giffords at point blank range through the head and then continued firing. The suspect, identified by law enforcement sources as Jared Lee Loughner, has been taken into custody.

[Updated at 4:52 p.m. ET] Chief Judge John Roll was among 6 people killed at an Arizona constituent meeting outside a Tucson grocery store Saturday.

[Updated at 4:30 p.m. ET] The suspect in a shooting at an Arizona constituent meeting outside a Tucson grocery story is a white male born in 1988, CNN's Jeanne Meserve has confirmed from a federal law enforcement source.

Six people have died, including a 9-year-old girl, and 12 were injured, including U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, authorities said.

[Updated at 4:07 p.m. ET] Rep. Gabrielle Giffords is in critical condition and a young child has died after a shooting at a political meeting at an Arizona grocery store, a hospital spokesman said Saturday.

Giffords, who was hosting the event, is under anesthesia after undergoing surgery for a single gunshot wound to the head "through and through," said Dr. Peter Rhee, Trauma Director at the University Medical Center in Tucson.

"The Congresswoman is not deceased. She is in critical condition," Rhee said in a press conference. "I am very optimistic about recovery."

Giffords publicized the "Congress on Your Corner" meet-up at the Safeway in her southern Arizona district on her Twitter account.

[Updated at 3:40 p.m. ET] Six people have died and 12 - including U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords - were injured in a shooting at a political meeting at a Tucson, Arizona, grocery store Saturday, according to Rick Kastigar of the Pima County Sheriff's Department.

[Updated at 3:20 p.m. ET] A suspect is in custody in the shootings of at least 12 people, including Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, at a constituent meeting at an Arizona grocery store, the U.S. Capitol Police said in a statement.

"The suspect is in custody. No further details on the motive or other victims are available at this time," the statement said. "The U.S. Capitol Police are directly involved in this investigation. As more information is developed, it will be provided. In the interim, all Members and staff are advised to take reasonable and prudent precautions regarding their personal security."

A statement from President Obama confirmed that some people had died.

"This morning, in an unspeakable tragedy, a number of Americans were shot in Tucson, Arizona, at a constituent meeting with Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords.  And while we are continuing to receive information, we know that some have passed away, and that Representative Giffords is gravely wounded," he said.

"We do not yet have all the answers.  What we do know is that such a senseless and terrible act of violence has no place in a free society.  I ask all Americans to join me and Michelle in keeping Representative Giffords, the victims of this tragedy, and their families in our prayers."

[Updated at 3:00 p.m. ET] Rep. Gabrielle Giffords is currently undergoing surgery for a gunshot wound to the head, a spokeswoman for the University Medical Center in Tucson said.

Nine patients were brought to the hospital, including a child. All of them are in either serious or critical condition and are undergoing surgery, spokeswoman Darci Slaten said.

A federal judge was also among those shot, a law enforcement official said. It is not clear whether he was among those taken to the hospital.

[Updated at 2:43 p.m. ET] There were conflicting reports Saturday about the condition of U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords following a shooting Saturday at a Tucson, Arizona, grocery store. Giffords' press secretary said the congresswoman remains in surgery for her injuries, disputing an earlier report from a law enforcement source saying she had died.

[Updated at 2:23 p.m. ET] U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords died Saturday after a gunman opened fire at a Tucson, Arizona grocery store, a law enforcement source said. Giffords, who had been holding a meeting with constituents, was among at least 12 people shot.

[Updated at 1:51 p.m. ET] U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords was among at least 12 people shot at a Tucson, Arizona, grocery store, a Democratic source told CNN's Dana Bash. The source called her injuries "pretty serious."

[Updated at 1:41 p.m. ET] U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords was meeting with constituents at a Safeway grocery store in Tucson, Arizona, where at least 12 people were injured in a shooting shortly after 10 a.m. MST Saturday, a spokesman for the Pima County sheriff's Department said. It is unclear whether Giffords was among those hurt.

"Several" people were shot Saturday at a grocery store in Tucson,
Arizona, a spokesman for the Pima County Sheriff's Department said. No other details were immediately available.

soundoff (1,655 Responses)
  1. Jane

    Skippy Stone....the Sarah palins and Sharon Angles have doen NOTHNG????? What planet are you from? Calling second ammenment rights, bringing guns to political rallies NOTHING! Get over yourself.

    It could be a border issue, it could be a drug cartel, but telling people to arm themselves is not NOTHING! The problem is that people can carry guns and use them. All those who shoot innocent people are deranged, but when our politicians call for it...we have to say enough is enough.

    January 8, 2011 at 3:44 pm | Report abuse | Reply
    • musicmarv

      Where was god? On a coffee break?

      January 8, 2011 at 3:58 pm | Report abuse |
  2. discouraged

    Fox news just reported that an Afghan citizen was arrested as the shooter and they are looking for an accomplice. The Congresswoman is out of surgery, in grave condition, but responding to commands. 19 others shot, 5 dead including a judge and a child. Prayers for all involved.

    January 8, 2011 at 3:44 pm | Report abuse | Reply
    • DKincaid

      God help FOX (N)EWS,but pray for those who listen to them

      January 8, 2011 at 3:51 pm | Report abuse |
    • DKincaid

      God help FOX (N)EWS; pray for those who listen to accounts; all accounts have said it was a WHITE MALE

      January 8, 2011 at 3:53 pm | Report abuse |
    • ahk

      this is an absolute lie. Fox News reported that it was veteran of the war in afghanistan (never mentioned that it was an afghan citizen) and also reported that it was a white male.

      January 8, 2011 at 4:13 pm | Report abuse |
    • Discouraged

      Your response is correct. Fox is now reporting that it is a 22 year old white man under arrest who left messages on his facebook page saying goodbye to friends and family. I personally watch all the news channels not just Fox. Prayers are needed for all the citizens of the world.

      January 8, 2011 at 4:23 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Rory Mullen

    http://reeferideas.blogspot.com/2011/01/az-rep-giffords-shot-updated.html SHE WILL SURVIVE SAYS DEPUTY CITY MANAGER

    January 8, 2011 at 3:44 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  4. jorge washinsen

    Read the posts and you get some insight into what liberalism does to a democracy.Figure it up took almost the same number of years to nearly destroy Russia before it had to change.

    January 8, 2011 at 3:45 pm | Report abuse | Reply
    • Ryanzzzz

      Yeah, well fascism only took less than 10 years to destroy Germany.

      January 8, 2011 at 4:51 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Mike

    A hillbilly toothless fu**ing Republican from so-called "Pee Party" did this!

    January 8, 2011 at 3:45 pm | Report abuse | Reply
    • teddybaer

      There are no hillbillies in Arizona. The people of Appalachia are decent people. If they use a gun, it is not used lightly, but for some better purpose.

      January 8, 2011 at 4:21 pm | Report abuse |
  6. T'sah from Virginia

    Right now – we do not need to be pointing fingers to the RIGHT or LEFT!! For all we know, this could have been just a random act of CRAZINESS!!!

    January 8, 2011 at 3:46 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  7. Sidewinder

    C'mon people.Hate language all over the place. The right and the left; guilty! To blame someone who holds a different opinion is just lazy thinking.

    Well viva la redundancy! I'm sure we've all had a profound effect on America with our commentary this afternoon. Lol

    Don't confuse convoluted ideology with patriotism, no matter how passionate one is about it.

    January 8, 2011 at 3:46 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  8. Felicity

    To Mike....Arizona does not border Mexico

    January 8, 2011 at 3:46 pm | Report abuse | Reply
    • Carole Clarke

      Last time I looked Arizona does border Mexico, quite a long border too. So does Calif, New Mexico and Texas. That is where Mexico is at its widest, from Tiajuana in the west to Brownsville on the east.

      January 8, 2011 at 4:00 pm | Report abuse |
    • yqgpxhm

      Felicity... get your map out... The southern border of Arizona is also the northern border of Mexico

      January 8, 2011 at 4:12 pm | Report abuse |
  9. banasy

    What in the heck would make ANYBODY take a gun and start shooting at people, no matter what their party affiliation is? W T F is going on in the brain of people who do this??? What a sad day in America- 6 people dead, 12 severely wounded- and for WHAT??? What kind of statement is could possibly justify this???

    Sad, sad, sad. My prayers go out to the families of all...I am so dreadfully sorry.

    January 8, 2011 at 3:46 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  10. Mark

    The person 'responsible' for this is the shooter. But to defend and dismiss the right wingers encouragement of 'taking them out' and all the hate mongering coming from them is naive. I won't 'blame' Palin and the Becks and the rest, for now, but I'd sure like to see a resounding comdenation of these acts of violence from those folks. I'll give the time to do so, but don't be surprised if they don't.

    January 8, 2011 at 3:47 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  11. Susie

    Are thoughts and prayers go out to those who were shot.........

    January 8, 2011 at 3:47 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  12. P Swanson, Tucson Arizona

    I shop at this Safeway frequently, and given the climate of the last election - have worried about the safety of both Congresswoman Giffords and Congressman Grihalva. But today, I am just praying that this travesty (not tragedy) is the call for sanity that our country needs. I just heard the kind comments by Speaker Bayner - but I have to wonder why those members of Congress (like Bachman) who have irresponsibily called for "Second-Ammendment Solutions" haven't been formerly sanctioned for not just inciting this type of violence but also promoting a clumate of extremism in this country.

    January 8, 2011 at 3:47 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  13. Mike

    Felicity

    Meanwhile, where I live, there have been a dozen shootings since the start of the year. They were all committed by hispanics. Should I now blame all latinos for all shootings? Or just the President of Mexico?
    ---

    Sorry Skippy...I don't believe you AT ALL. Where do you live? What city were these atrocious crimes all committed by Hispanics. Pile of croc...you're a liar.

    -----------–
    I live in South Texas. In a city that is over 70% hispanic. Most of the murders, crime here is caused by hispanics. Maybe he also lives in a border community. Or maybe Chicago or a hispanic barrio in LA. This really isn't too hard to believe.

    January 8, 2011 at 3:47 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  14. barticles

    Why did SAFEWAY allow a POLITICAL event occur on grounds? A place where kids, old people, or anyone democractic, republican or independent could be killed or wounded? Town halls are contained in areas that can control access. However, it appears the store owners and organizers of this tragic event did not take everyone elses safety and security into account. Salvation Army, Goodwill, Boy Scouts and Girls Scouts are often denied the right to collect money for good causes. However, some stores, it appears, will allow politics (an inflamatory subject) that can endanger your family. Lesson learned, don't take your family shopping near POLITICAL Rallies. We need a Separation of Stores and Politics. Meanwhile, I will be doing some praying for all parties injured and killed.

    January 8, 2011 at 3:47 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  15. Marion

    CNN sucks as a news agency. Why don't they just do the horoscopes first followed by the air-head report and then turn it over to open mike on the street for the news.

    January 8, 2011 at 3:48 pm | Report abuse | Reply
    • Rhayes

      I have a suggestion to all of the CNN haters... DON"T WATCH CNN IF YOU DON"T LIKE CNN!!!!!!!!

      January 8, 2011 at 4:45 pm | Report abuse |
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