Saturday, January 08, 2011

Congresswoman Shot at Event in Tucson; Multiple Updates - 6 Dead Including Federal Judge

An Arizona Congresswoman was shot at a political event in Tucson. The situation is developing. Stay tuned.
Published with Blogger-droid v1.6.5

Federal Judge John M. Roll was killed in Arizona attack, NBC News reports along with a staffer of Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords. Giffords was among those seriously injured after being shot in the head at close range. At least 12 people were shot.
President Barack Obama called the shooting an "unspeakable tragedy," and said that some had died and the congresswoman had been gravely injured, Reuters reported.

"And while we are continuing to receive information, we know that some have passed away, and that Representative Giffords is gravely wounded," Obama said in a statement.

C.J. Karamargin, a spokesman for Giffords, said the congresswoman was in surgery as of 1 p.m. local time and that an unspecified number of Giffords staff members were involved in the shooting. Karamargin said he had no other information on the conditions of the injured or on the circumstances of the shooting.
Gabrielle Giffords

Congressional officials said an aide to the Democrat was killed, and unknown number of others were injured, including staffers to the lawmaker.

'Sad day'
Little was known about the shooter in the chaos after the rampage; one official said the attack was carried out with an automatic weapon. The officials who described the events did so on condition of anonymity, saying they were not permitted to comment publicly.

Another law enforcement official told NBC News that the suspect was born in 1988, but did not have more details at the time.
A bystander apparently tackled the assailant as he tried to run away. According to the Pima County Sheriff's Office, at least 18 shots were fired from some kind of pistol with an extended magazine. Video tapes are being pulled from nearby businesses. Details about the shooting are still developing.

My thoughts and prayers go out to the families of those involved and now 6

Giffords is a 3-time Congresswoman from Tuscon:
Giffords, who was re-elected in November, has focused on immigration reform, military issues, stem cell research and alternative energy while serving in Congress. She is married to U.S. astronaut Mark Kelly.

She served on the House Armed Services, Science and Technology committees.

Before going to Washington, Giffords served in the Arizona Legislature from 2000 to 2005 and ran her family's tire and automotive business.

Jared Laughner is the accused gunman and MSNBC is reporting that at least six people were killed.

Media reports are indicating that this is not the first run-in that Laughner has had with law enforcement.

The University of Arizona Medical Center is holding a briefing. 10 patients were received. One died at the hospital. Five are in critical condition with five currently undergoing operations. Neurosurgeons have completed surgery on the Congresswoman and have a good prognosis.

The deceased victim from the hospital was a young child.

Sheriffs are currently executing multiple warrants on multiple locations.

Also, this may be Laughner's YouTube channel, and his videos are quite disturbing and present some insight into what he was thinking.

Culling through Loughner's background reveals someone who appears to have planned this attack and was looking to carry out attacks against the existing political order. He also appears to have a video channel "Classitup10"

My name is Jared Lee Loughner!
Country:United States
Schools:I attended school: Thornydale elementary,Tortolita Middle School, Mountain View Highschool, Northwest Aztec Middle College, and Pima Community College.
Interests:My favorite interest was reading, and I studied grammar. Conscience dreams were a great study in college!
Movies:(*My idiom: I could coin the moment!*)
Music:Pass me the strings!
Books:I had favorite books: Animal Farm, Brave New World, The Wizard Of OZ, Aesop Fables, The Odyssey, Alice Adventures Into Wonderland, Fahrenheit 451, Peter Pan, To Kill A Mockingbird, We The Living, Phantom Toll Booth, One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest, Pulp,Through The Looking Glass, The Communist Manifesto, Siddhartha, The Old Man And The Sea, Gulliver’s Travels, Mein Kampf, The Republic, and Meno.

The shooting took place just about 10:00AM local time at a Safeway Shopping Center in Tuscon.

Capitol Police are urging members to take reasonable precautions following the shooting, and it will more than likely affect the way that Members hold public sessions and gatherings.

To get to the point, this was an attack on democracy itself. It affects how members will interact with their constituents and how constituents can join with their representatives.

Reading through Laughner's materials, it's striking that not only is he expressing his interests in the past tense, but that he was calling for a change in the political currency of the country. While some people might think that Laughner was insane for espousing extreme political thought, and I fully expect his eventual lawyers to make that claim to avoid the death penalty for his attempted assassination of the Congresswoman, the murder of the federal judge, the young child, and anyone else who may have died or was injured in connection with this attack, that doesn't make him a murderous bastard with an expectation that he would not survive his plan (his writings were given in the past tense).

He clearly wanted a change in currency - not the tangible currency - but the currency of the existing political order. He was apparently looking to overthrow the government and existing polity. That puts him way out on the fringe politically, but that doesn't make him insane.

President Obama speaks about the shooting:

Sen. John McCain has also responded about the shooting: "Whoever did this; whatever their reason, they are a disgrace to Arizona, this country and the human race, and they deserve and will receive the contempt of all decent people and the strongest punishment of the law."

While Loughner may have tried to join the Army, it appears that he never was admitted according to Stars and Stripes.
Also, Stars and Stripes has the following:
Giffords has drawn the ire of the right in the last year, especially from politicians like Sarah Palin over her support of the health care bill. It's still not clear if the gunman had the health care debate in mind or was focused on his own unique set of political beliefs as witnessed in the Internet videos.Law enforcement officials said members of Congress reported 42 cases of threats or violence in the first three months of 2010, nearly three times the 15 cases reported during the same period a year earlier. Nearly all dealt with the health care bill, and Giffords was among the targets.
Giffords' Tucson office was vandalized a few hours after the House voted to approve the health care law in March, with someone either kicking or shooting out a glass door and window. In an interview after the vandalism, Giffords referred to the animosity against her by conservatives. Palin listed Giffords' seat as one of the top "targets" in the midterm elections because of the lawmakers' support for the health care law.
"For example, we're on Sarah Palin's targeted list, but the thing is, that the way that she has it depicted has the crosshairs of a gun sight over our district. When people do that, they have to realize that there are consequences to that action," Giffords said in an interview with MSNBC.
In the hours after the shooting, Palin issued a statement in which she expressed her "sincere condolences" to the family of Giffords and the other victims.
The shooting occurred at a shopping center called La Toscana Village as Giffords met with voters outside a Safeway grocery store.
Alex Villec, 19, a volunteer for the event, told the Arizona Daily Star that the gunman asked to speak to Giffords, but Villec told him to go to the back of the line. The gunman did that, and minutes later he walked toward her.
"He was intent," Villec said. "He was intent when he came back - a pretty stone-cold glance and glare."
"I didn't see his gun, but it was clear who he was going for," he added. "He was going for the congresswoman."
Villec said the shooter walked past tables and toward Giffords, then raised his hand. Villec said he heard gunshots before ducking behind a pillar.
"It was bedlam," he said. "People were getting down on the ground. They were screaming. I just did what I could to keep myself protected."
Villec said he did not see two men tackle the gunman but afterward spoke with one of the men who was next in line to greet Giffords.
Law enforcement officials and reporters from around the country quickly descended on Tucson, the second biggest city in the state and home to the University of Arizona. The scene has been converted into a command post with about a dozen or so emergency vehicles and agents in FBI jackets milling about the location.
I'd be interested to see who were the targets of those incidents and the disposition as to whether anyone was arrested.

The New York Times is reporting that a second suspect is being sought. I'm going to surmise that the second suspect may be somehow related to how Loughner arrived at the supermarket - a driver or someone who provided him with the weapons/ammo, etc. Suspect may not have been a shooter, but he or she enabled Loughner to arrive at the supermarket and go on his murderous rampage.

No comments: