Christina Green, 9
January 11th, 2011
10:39 PM ET

Relatives, friends remember 6 slain in Tucson

[Updated at 5:58 p.m. ET Wednesday] President Barack Obama will speak at Wednesday evening's memorial service for the victims of Saturday's shootings that killed six and wounded 14 at a political event in Arizona.

The memorial will be at the University of Arizona in Tucson, four days after the shooting outside a Tucson supermarket at an event held by U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords. The congresswoman was shot in the head and was in critical condition at a hospital Wednesday.

In the days since the shooting, relatives and friends of the slain have spoken about who they were.

Christina Green, 9

A neighbor brought Christina to the event to meet Giffords because the girl had recently been elected to the student council at Mesa Verde Elementary School. The neighbor, Susan Heilman, was shot three times and is recovering, but is struggling emotionally with the girl's death, said her husband, Bill Heilman.

Born on September 11, 2001, Christina entered the world "on a tragic day and she went out on a tragic day," said her father, John Green.

"There's going to be a lot of those kind of moments that - I had one this morning, just waking up. She comes up and says, 'Daddy, it's time to get up.' She didn’t do that this morning," Green told CNN on Sunday.

Christina was the granddaughter of Dallas Green, a former Major League Baseball manager who guided the Philadelphia Phillies to a World Series title in 1980. Her father is a scout with the Los Angeles Dodgers.

Christina embraced the sport and was one of the few girls playing with her local Little League. She loved animals and thought about becoming a veterinarian.

Her mother, Roxanna Green, said Christina "was a great friend, a great sister, a great daughter."

"I was so proud of her. And I just want everyone to know … we got robbed. She got robbed of a beautiful life that she could have had," Roxanna Green said.

Bill Heilman said the Greens have reached out to him and his wife.

"To anyone that's a parent, to me, that's a level of strength that’s almost unimaginable," Heilman said this week. "I guess if I were to say who, if anyone, could handle something like this, it may well be them. But I think the reaction is too much to expect out of anyone, and it just blows me away the grace that they’re showing."

Gabriel "Gabe" Zimmerman, 30

Zimmerman, a Tucson native and director for community outreach on Giffords' staff, was engaged to be married.

He proposed to his girlfriend over the summer, his mother, Emily Nottingham told CNN affiliate KGUN.

"They had a lot of plans about what they might have done, and who knows where life might take you," she told KGUN. "It's a reminder that life can change suddenly."

He was an avid runner and had twice hiked through the Grand Canyon. He previously worked with troubled children at a treatment facility, and he served on the board of several children's groups, including Child and Family Resources Inc. That organization's CEO, Eric Schindler, told KGUN that Zimmerman, who joined Giffords' staff in 2006, became interested in politics after he received a master's degree in social work.

"There were always people who were half-joking, half-seriously chiding him about when he was going to run for office. He seemed to have that innate calling," Schindler told KGUN.


U.S. District Judge John Roll, 63

Roll, a Pennsylvania native, was a U.S. District Court judge for the District of Arizona who had served the legal system for nearly 40 years. He began his career as a bailiff in Pima County Superior Court and rose to be chief judge for the District of Arizona, a position he held since 2006.

According to court records relating to the shooting, Roll came to the Tucson event from Phoenix to discuss the volume of federal cases in Arizona with Giffords. He also was said to be at the event to support Giffords, his friend.

Matthew Bowman, who was a law clerk for Roll about six years ago, was loved and respected by everyone who encountered him.

"In his chambers, he dealt with a lot of people on a daily basis, (from) jurors to lawyers to other judges ... and he treated everyone with the highest level of courtesy and respect and dignity that he felt like they deserved, because they were human beings," Bowman, now a lawyer in Washington, D.C., told CNN.

Roll received death threats two years ago after he ruled that a $32 million civil-rights lawsuit filed by illegal immigrants against a rancher in the state could proceed. No link to those threats and Saturday's shooting have been made.

"He lived his life not really worrying about (threats and controversy),"  Bowman said. "If a precaution needed to be taken, he took it, but he really lived his life focused on the people who came into his life, his dedication to God, to his family, to his staff and to really everybody he encountered."

Rolls, a father of three, was "greatly dedicated to his family and the family of his staff," Bowman said.

"We would exchange notes throughout the year if I was involved in an important case or if he was, and it’s really hard to think about him not being there anymore," he said.

Dorwan Stoddard, 76

Witnesses said Stoddard, a retired construction worker, was trying to shield his wife, Mavy, when he was shot in the head and fell onto her. Mavy was shot three times in her legs but is expected to recover.

Stoddard's daughter Penny Wilson, who wasn't at the event, told reporters Tuesday that her mother has confirmed the account.

"He heard the shots and covered my mom with his own body and protected her and saved her. Mom definitely felt that way," Wilson said.

Another daughter, Angela Robinson, said that Mavy didn't know she was shot until she arrived at the hospital with her husband.

The couple attended the Church of Christ in Tucson. Dorwan built a room for attendees with small children.

"They both fed the needy, housed the needy, gave money to the needy and gave clothes to the needy. They were very important to us," the Rev. Michael Nowak told CNN.

Dorwan and Mavy knew each other as children. After both lost their spouses, they reunited and married. They were together for nearly 15 years.

"They were inseparable. You saw one, you knew the other one wasn't far behind," Nowak told KGUN.

Dorothy Morris, 76

Morris - friends called her "Dot" - was in line with her husband to meet Giffords when the shooting started, KGUN reported. Her husband, George, was wounded. The couple had been married for 55 years and lived in Arizona's Oro Valley, according to KGUN.

The pair were high school sweethearts in Reno, Nevada, one of their high school friends told KTVN in Reno.

They married in Reno and attended the University of Nevada, said the friend, Merilyn Melton.

Melton said George Morris would often describe Dorothy as his girlfriend or his bride.

"He and Dorothy were one of these devoted couples that were always together," Melton told KTVN.

Phyllis Schneck, 79

Schneck, of New Jersey, was a grandmother who spent winters in Arizona after retiring. She was known for her volunteer work wherever she lived, friends said.

"She always makes friends. She has friends everywhere she's lived," her son, Ernest Schneck, told WABC.

Her son told WABC that she was a registered Republican, though not politically active. But she liked Giffords, a Democrat.

"She just wanted to go down and shake her hand," Ernest Schneck told WABC.

Her husband died in 2007, according to the Daily Record of New Jersey.

- CNN's Casey Wians, T.J. Holmes, Ted Rowlands, Drew Griffin and Jason Hanna contributed to this report.

Post by:
Filed under: Arizona • Crime • Gabrielle Giffords
soundoff (83 Responses)
  1. Alyssa Bainbridge

    My heart and prayers go out to the families of the six slain. God bless you, and remeber they are protected in Heaven for eternity.

    January 12, 2011 at 3:02 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Lindsey

    My most sincerest condolences to the families of the victims. This just makes me so incredibly sad, I am so sorry for your losses.

    January 12, 2011 at 3:36 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Kevin

    This is really sad. I can't imagine the pain one must feel to watch your spouse of 50+ years die in front of you, without being able to say good bye. No amount of justice could even begin to make me feel better in that situation. And the man who saved his wife's life by giving his own should be honored.

    January 12, 2011 at 3:46 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Donna

    Let's deal with the simple hard fact that mental illness in this country is still a stigma. Even when you try to get help there seems to be none available, just prescriptions for drugs, which yes sometimes. I have a son with problems and no I do not blame the parents. It is devastating and isolating when you love someone with mental issues. My son has received nothing but love and I see now that love alone does not cure someone. We see another doctor next week and again I will tell them that we are a family in crisis and hopefully they will not send us to yet another doctor. To all the parents out there that feel despair keep on seeking help. The system has to change or this will keep happening when the troubled kids of today are the angry misfits of tomorrow.

    January 12, 2011 at 4:45 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Claire Negley

    We are pray for
    Six peoples killed
    From tucson az. Very
    Very sad.
    New freedom pa.

    January 12, 2011 at 5:40 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Claire Negley

    We are pray for
    Six peoples killed
    From tucson az. Very
    Very sad. God bless you
    New freedom pa.

    January 12, 2011 at 5:43 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Claire

    We are prayed her
    Six peoples sad.
    Very very sad.
    God bless you.
    New freedom,Pa

    January 12, 2011 at 7:18 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Janet Swedelson, Tucson AZ

    A beautiful 9 yr old girl, named Christina Green,

    Had hopes for our country, she had a bigger dream.

    She went to go see Gabrielle Giffords who has been successful in her career

    She went to go see her and give her some cheer.

    In return, Gabrielle would have been happy to do anything she could

    to help this little girl make a difference and do some good.

    Christina was struck with a bullet that brought her dream to an end

    The Angels came and took her to Heaven where she could mend.

    Christina still made a difference through this dreadful day

    She helped bring in a state legislation that will keep protestors

    Who planned to attend her funeral and many others at bay.

    May her family and friends find comfort in remembering their lives

    With a little girl’s spirit that will always thrive.

    .Janet Swedelson

    January 12, 2011 at 8:01 pm | Report abuse |
    • Janet Swedelson, Tucson AZ

      I really feel those affected by this day,
      for those missing their loved ones,
      those fighting for their lives,
      those recovering from their wounds,
      and for everyone feeling the pain left by this dismay

      January 12, 2011 at 8:08 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Dan

    People have fought and died in Afghanistan and Iraq, for this...


    January 12, 2011 at 8:02 pm | Report abuse |
  10. lars

    were mommy and daddy pro guns?

    January 12, 2011 at 8:05 pm | Report abuse |
  11. foxxie

    mine is a question.... did anyone hear how the 9 yr old died... we have heard about how the others died but not the little girl.. was she trampled to death??? I think this is a story not talking about this and if this is how it happened how people couldn't keep from this happening-

    January 12, 2011 at 8:18 pm | Report abuse |
    • georg

      She was shot in the chest. It's mentioned everywhere. Do you read headlines only?

      January 12, 2011 at 8:58 pm | Report abuse |
  12. DB

    There are six victims of mindless violence in Tucson. There are tens of thousands, perhaps hundreds of thousands of similar victims of mindless violence in Iraq and Afganisthan, directly due to actions by US and its allies. There are millions of similar victims of mindless violence throughout the world, directly due to actions of US and its allies. When will CNN remember and write the stories of those tens/hundreds of thousands and millions of victims outside US? We all know: NEVER. Because they are not US Citizens, and hence, Less Valuable than Dirt on the road!! SHAME ON CNN!! SHAME ON HUMANITY for letting organizations like CNN get away with such direct acts of aiding and abetting US and NATO crimes throughout the world!!

    January 12, 2011 at 8:20 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Roger

    I have my prays for the families and the est of America was showed today that in tragic state that light can raise up again "God Bless America and the World"

    January 12, 2011 at 8:31 pm | Report abuse |
  14. HeIsGod

    Wow, just like on 9/11,. people were united and running to church crying out to God. Days later, everyone went to each other's business and forgot about God. How sad!!!

    United we stand, divided we fall.....I don't think so. We need to start standing together every day of our lives because we are starting to fall together.

    January 12, 2011 at 8:31 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Maybeben

    Those regular posters who know who I am also know that I am an ardent defender of freedom. But I also recognize that there are times when national security must prevail over personal rights. Which is why I sincerely believe that everyone even remotely involved with the Tea Party should be rounded up and held without charges at an offshore detention facility. It's what you want for Muslims, but it's what you deserve. The unabashed hatred of your leaders caused this massacre. Your are all responsible.

    January 12, 2011 at 8:47 pm | Report abuse |
1 2 3 4