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Latest on Arizona Shooting: Commentary and Updates

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Messages and candles are placed at a makeshift memorial that continues to grow in front of University Medical Center in Tucson for those killed and wounded during an attack on Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, D-Ariz., on January 8. Giffords is in critical condition recovering from a head wound at the hospital.(Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)

Much of the nation is still focused on the Arizona shooting rampage that left Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, D-Ariz., critically wounded and a crowd of others dead or injured. The National Journal team will update the latest developments as they happen in Tucson and minute by minute on the Web. All times Eastern.

3:51 p.m. The Pima County Sheriff’s Department has released a timeline for Saturday's shooting. They note that all times are approximate. 

 

3:48 p.m. The New York Times reports that law enforcement officials are saying today that they have multiple photos of Jared L. Loughner posing with a Glock 9mm pistol next to his naked buttocks and dressed in a bright red g-string. The model of the weapon is the same as the one he used last Saturday.

2:40 p.m. Sens. John McCain, R-Ariz., and Jon Kyl, R-Ariz., just issued a statement announcing their intention to introduce legislation that would name a soon-to-be-constructed federal courthouse in Yuma, Ariz. the "John M. Roll United States Courthouse."

2:05 p.m. The Pima County Sheriff’s Department just released the complete list of victims injured (but not killed) by gunfire:

 

Susan Hileman (58)

Mavanell Stoddard (75)

Pamela Simon (63)

Ronald Barber (65)

 

Gabrielle Giffords (40)

James Tucker (58)

Kenneth Veeder (75)

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George Morris (76)

James Fuller (63)

Randy Gardner (60)

Mary Reed (52)

Kenneth Dorushka (63)

Bill Badger (74)

12:15 p.m. For continued updates on Rep. Giffords's status, check here.

12:10 p.m. The daughters of Ron Barber-- aide to Giffords and shooting victim-- deliver remarks from their father, who is being released today. An excerpt:

"I also want to thank from the bottom of my heart the people of Tucson who brought their words of encouragement to the front of the hospital. I saw their tributes and photographs for the first time yesterday and was deeply moved and uplifteded. My healing process is under way and so is the healing of the wonderful community we call home. I ask for continued prayers for Congresswoman Giffords's full recovery and for the survivors of the tragic events last Saturday. I send my condolences to the families of the good people we lost and wish them spiritual solace and emotional recovery."

12:07 p.m. Drs. Peter Rhee and Michael Lemole deliver an update on the victims. "Everybody is doing extremely well," Rhee says.

Lemole, on Rep. Giffords: "We're actually confident that she's making progress now. Her eyes we describe being open; that kind of occurrence is more frequent at this time, and we can even think that she is beginning to carry out more complex sequences of events, more complex sequences of activity in response to our commands or spontaneously. We're very encouraged that she's continuing to make all the right moves in the right direction. Obviously we're cautious that she make them at her own pace, but we're very encouraged given the severity of her injury initially."

Thursday, January 13, 2011

5:15 p.m. National Journal's Jim O'Sullivan tell us that the bag of ammunition believed to be the black bag that Randy Loughner described his son carring has now been identified by the Pima County Sheriff’s Department as a diaper bag resembling a backpack. It contained 9mm ammunition. The bag has been transferred to the custody of the FBI for further analysis.

5:03 p.m. The funeral for Christina Taylor Greene has just ended. CNN reports that it will be a sad week in Tuscon, as residents continue to say goodbye to victims in the next several days.

4:48 p.m. The Pima County Sheriff’s Department says that the Rosary for John Roll is going to be held this evening at St. Thomas the Apostle in Tuscon. The Roll family requested that no media presence or news coverage be on parish property.

4:33 p.m. Christina Taylor Green's casket just passed under the 9/11 Flag at the funeral underway in Arizona right now.

3:18 p.m. National Journal's Jim O'Sullivan got ahold of Jared Loughner's school yearbook photos from the Marana Unified School District. He attended Thornydale Elementary School from 1994 to 2001, Tortolita Middle School from 2001 to 2003, and Mountain View High School from 2003 to 2006 (but did not graduate). Yearbooks were not created for 1996, 1999, 2000, and 2001.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

3:00 p.m. Another update on the black bag found today: MSNBC says it reportedly contained ammunition, which could translate into evidence that Loughner had a "methodical plan to target and assassinate Gongresswoman Giffords."

2:45 p.m. CNN reports that Safeway-- home of the crime scene-- reopened to the public this morning.

2:10 p.m. The Washington Post has more details on the black bag: "Chief Rick Kastigar with the Pima County Sheriff's Office told The Associated Press on Thursday... [there] are items in the bag that might be related to the case."

2:01 p.m. After days of searching, police say they have found what may be the infamous black bag that caused a scuffle between Loughner and his father the morning of the searching. CNN reports: "When the son showed up at the house, the father asked him, 'What are you doing with that black bag?' He couldn't understand his son's answer. His son left the house on foot and the father followed him in a pickup truck but could not find him, and only said that he thought his son went out in the desert. Police have been looking for days for the black bag.

"Well, today they got a call this morning from a young man-- a teenager-- who was walking his dog in the area of that house in the desert area. He found a black bag in sort of a dry riverbed area. He picked it up and took it to a friend's house, called the police, and now they have retrieved this bag.They don't know whether it's the right one, but it could be a key piece of evidence if it is. They'll be testing it to look for fingerprints, DNA, hair and fibers, this kind of thing, to see whether this was the one that he left the house with that day."

1:50 p.m. Ground Zero flag flown at memorial service for Christina-Taylor Green, born 9/11/2001. Watch it on CBS here.

12:50 p.m. Dr. Rhee tells MSNBC he's "more hopeful than I've ever been" for Giffords' recovery but cites problems that could still arise: "Anything from a pneumonia to blood clots to pressure sores."

12:10 p.m. Dr. Rhee and Dr. Lemole update the public on the patients' conditions in a presser:

"As of today we have one patient that remains in critical condition and four that are in fair condition," Rhee said. "One of those patients is being discharged today. One of the patients will also be undergoing staged planned surgery today and everybody is making fantastic forward progress.

"Gabrielle Giffords remains in critical condition but as you heard from the president yesterday, it is true she did have spontaneous eye opening yesterday, and is becoming more and more alert at this time period, and making much more spontaneous moments as we have stopped the medications that might blunt her medical status. She is doing fairly specific things with her left hand... and her right side is making progress that we're happy about.

"Today we're doing very aggressive physical therapy with her and actually got her out of bed and dangling on the side of the bed as well. We're very happy about this process and so far seems like everything is going forward without any setbacks."

Dr. Lemole adds: "She's still holding her own and following the simple commands; for me that tells me the higher brain center is working. As you heard from the president she is opening her eyes spontaneously... I was there when she was surrounded by her friends from the Congress and Senate and I think it was a combination perhaps not of the unexpected but familiar that really prompted her to open her eyes and look around.

"That's important... let me tell you why from a scientific or neurosurgical perspective: It implies not just those parts of the brain that process demands are there but the parts of the brain that let us awake from sleeping, our arousal center, those are starting to work spontaneously.

"It is all very encouraging and she continues to do this consistently. One of the most important things with neurologic recovery is consistently, we want to see people repeat things over and over again.

"...Going forward, we want to, of course, make sure she doesn't backslide. We still list her as critical because -- maybe this is because i'm a cautious neurosurgeon... In patients who have breathing tubes in and so forth, we worry about medical complications. This is a major leap forward and major milestone for her, and we're hoping she crosses through many more."

The doctors also said she has been able to open both of her eyes and that they have seen movement with her right arm.

11:13 a.m. Anthony Miller, the chairman of Arizona Legislative District 20 and the state's only black Republican chairman, has resigned from his post due to threats from tea party members, the New York Daily News reports. In the wake of Saturday's shooting, Miller said, "I decided to quit. ...I love the Republican Party, but I don't want to take a bullet for anyone." Miller will make a full statement Monday.

10:45 a.m. Tragedy heroes Daniel Hernandez, the 20-year-old intern who medically attended to Giffords immediately after the shooting; Patricia Maisch, who grabbed the clip from Loughner as he tried to reload; and Bill Badger, the retired Army colonel who wrestled Loughner to the ground, on MSNBC:

Hernandez: "It is humbling when anyone references you as a hero, but... I have to respectfully disagree with the president. I hate to do that. I still don't think I am a hero, but I do feel extremely humbled to have the opportunity to even be in the same room as these people.

"...Hearing that news [that Giffords opened her eyes], we've all known that Gabby is a fighter... and for the first time I saw people crack a smile and it was good news and we needed to make sure we enjoyed it, because it's definitely one of the only things you can enjoy in this type of situation."

Maisch: "I do hope that people take the president's words to heart and not just let it be a passing political speech because it was much, much more than that. And I do hope that we can do a little bit to change this country even a little bit."

Badger: "I feel great today and the event last night was tremendous. And being able to pull the people together... that's what I observed last night was the people pulling together and becoming one country-- America. And with a tragic event like this, if something good can come out of it, that will be great."

10:25 a.m. White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs just held a press conference in which he largely addressed the theme of "unity" in Obama's speech last night, especially as it applies to current bipartisan politics. He also dodged questions about Palin's accusation of "blood libel" in the political finger-pointing that ensued following the shooting. Excerpts of Gibbs's remarks:

"I would point you to many things in the president's-- in venues that the president has discussed this [theme of unity]-- that the notion of civility and our public discourse dates back to his time in the state senate in Springfield... and at the University of Michigan, at the commencement last year. I have heard him say for as long as I've been with him, the notion of disagreeing without being disagreeable. Those are aspects, I think, that he has tried to live his public life by.

"...Obviously, elements of what you heard last night and improvements in our civil discourse and how we debate issues will certainly play a role in this year's State of the Union."

On Palin's "blood libel":

"I think there are plenty of people that can render opinions on that," he said. "I'm not going to do that.

"...I think what the president would tell you on that answer is that... we are not going to remove disagreement from our democracy. And we shouldn't. That's the underpinning of the notion of our self-government. But the tone and the approach that we take in those debates, I think, is what we all hope changes because of both the events of the past few days, but... again, you see it in the president's remarks that our civil discourse has become more and more polarized.

"...I think you're going to see plenty of opportunities over the next few years where you have those disagreements... in the tone and the approach on both sides. This isn't just a one-way street, but for us, too, to ensure that we're doing this in a way as I think the president so eloquently said last night, is befitting the memory of those in Tucson."

9:53 a.m. Giffords's Chief of Staff Pia Carusone on MSNBC talks about Giffords opening her eyes for the first time: "You can imagine it was a dramatic moment having occurred just moments after the president was by her bedside. You know, the doctors tell us that these sort of milestones will occur at any moment with no real warning, but that, you know, we should still sort of understand the gravity of the situation... [but] t was a wonderful moment and it gave a family a shot of hope that i think was pretty useful at this time."

MSNBC confirms that Giffords's office will remain open while she recovers.

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