Skip Navigation

Close and don't show again.

Your browser is out of date.

You may not get the full experience here on National Journal.

Please upgrade your browser to any of the following supported browsers:

Latest on Arizona Shooting: Commentary and Updates Latest on Arizona Shooting: Commentary and Updates

This ad will end in seconds
 
Close X

Not a member? Learn More »

Forget Your Password?

Don't have an account? Register »

Reveal Navigation
 

 

Congress

Latest on Arizona Shooting: Commentary and Updates

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)

January 14, 2011

 

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)

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.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

9:55 p.m. Major Garrett reports on the members of Congress in the room when Giffords opened her eyes. "It was like witnessing a miracle," Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, D-N.Y., told CNN.

9:35 p.m. Jason Dick says that the music now playing is John Lennon's "Imagine."

9:34 p.m. Here are tonight's total attendance numbers: The total number of attendees is 26,172. There are 13,172 at McKale Memorial Center, and 13,000 at Arizona Stadium, according to the Universtiy of Arizona.

9:29 p.m. If you don't feel like going through the whole live blog to see what Obama said, check out this article from National Journal.

9:26 p.m. Our Susan Davis tweets: "I'm gonna refer to tonight as Obama's 'Bill Cosby Speech.' Because tonight he was like America's reassuring dad."

9:18 p.m Obama ends his speech with this line: "May God bless and keep those we’ve lost in restful and eternal peace.  May He love and watch over the survivors.  And may He bless the United States of America."

9:16 p.m. Obama ends his speech by dedicating it to young Christina Taylor Green, the 9-year-old who lost her life. "I want to live up to her expectations," he said. "I want our democracy to be as good as she imagined it. All of us -- we should do everything we can to make sure this country lives up to our children’s expectations." To this he gets a thunderous applause. "If there are rain puddles in heaven, Christina is jumping in them today. And here on this Earth, we place our hands over our hearts, and commit ourselves as Americans to forging a country that is forever worthy of her gentle, happy spirit."

web:376903:article

9:11 p.m. Another jab at the state of political discourse while elevating the importance of the lives lost: "If this tragedy prompts reflection and debate, as it should, let’s make sure it’s worthy of those we have lost.  Let’s make sure it’s not on the usual plane of politics and point-scoring and pettiness that drifts away with the next news cycle."

9:03 p.m. Recognizing that tragedy calls all of us to examine our own lives, Obama says, "We recognize our own mortality, and are reminded that in the fleeting time we have on this earth, what matters is not wealth, or status, or power, or fame -- but rather, how well we have loved, and what small part we have played in bettering the lives of others."

9:03 p.m. Obama addresses the issue of polarizing language. He does not lay blame on either side, but only says we need to make sure we are using language that heals, not wounds: "At a time when our discourse has become so sharply polarized -- at a time when we are far too eager to lay the blame for all that ails the world at the feet of those who think differently than we do -- it’s important for us to pause for a moment and make sure that we are talking with each other in a way that heals, not a way that wounds."

9:01 p.m. Obama says he does not accept Hernandez's assertion that he is not a hero. "Daniel, you may deny it, but we've decided you are a hero," Obama says.

8:59 p.m. The news of Giffords opening her eyes ("She knows we are here," says Obama) was not part of the prepared remarks.

8:56 p.m. Obama says that Giffords has opened her eyes for the first time: "Right after we went to visit, a few minutes after we left her room and some of her colleagues from congress were in the room, Gabby opened her eyes for the first time. Gabby opened her eyes for the first time." The crowd goes WILD.

web:376903:article

8:54 p.m. National Journal's Matt Cooper tweets: "I was in Oklahoma City at the memorial in 1995. It was eerily silent. All you could hear were the sobs and the speakers." Clearly, this is a different kind of memorial: The crowd keeps bursting into cheers.

8:50 p.m. As expected, the speech begins with a call to look forward, but also a remembrance of the victims of the shooting. Obama speaks about John Roll, the "hardest-working judge within the Ninth Circuit." He speaks about George and Dorothy Morris -- “Dot” to her friends -- a married couple who "did everything together, traveling the open road in their RV, enjoying what their friends called a 50-year honeymoon."

8:48 p.m. Obama calls "Congress on Your Corner" an updated version of government "of and by and for the people."

8:46 p.m. Obama: "There is nothing I can say that will fill the sudden hole torn in your hearts.  But know this: the hopes of a nation are here tonight. We mourn with you for the fallen. We join you in your grief. And we add our faith to yours that Rep. Gabrielle Giffords and the other living victims of this tragedy pull through."

8:45 p.m. Obama says: "I have come here tonight as an American who, like all Americans, kneels to pray with you today, and will stand by you tomorrow."

8:44 p.m President Obama takes the podium to standing ovation. The cheers keep coming. He doesn't smile.

8:42 p.m. Attorney General Eric Holder goes with the second Bible reading in a row. He reads from the Second Letter of Paul to the Corinthians. With these readings, the tone has become a bit more somber. Holder reads: "For this slight momentary affliction is preparing us for an eternal wait of glory beyond all comparison, because we look not to the things that are seen, but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal."

8:41 p.m. More than 14,000 people are estimated inside the arena, and an overflow crowd of 10,000 outside, according to a White House pool report.

8:40 p.m. Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano riled up the crowd just by being there, since she is the former governor of Arizona. "We miss you!" someone in the crowd shouts. She reads from the book of Isaiah: "Comfort, yes, comfort, my people, says your God. Speak comfort to Jerusalem and cry out to her that her warfare is ended."

8:34 p.m. Gov. Jan Brewer says: "There is no way to quantify the loss of a fine public servant like united states district court Judge John Roll.... There is absolutely no measure in the idea that the void someone like Gabe [Zimmerman] leaves behind." But she says we will go "forward unbending, unbowed."

web:376903:article

8:27 p.m. Daniel Hernandez rejects the term hero for himself, but says that the first responders and Giffords are the real heroes. He also says, "On Saturday, we all became Tucsonians. We all became Arizonians. And above all, we all became Americans."

web:376903:article

8:23 p.m. Shelton gets sustained applause when he mentions University of Arizona student Daniel Hernandez, who is credited with acting heroically during the Saturday shootings.

8:22 p.m. University of Arizona President Robert Shelton says he is amazed that Tuscon manages to be a small college town despite having about 1 million people living there. He also said, "Tonight, we have a chance to pray for those who were wounded, to remember those who were lost, and to reaffirm, reaffirm our commitment to each other. Representative Gabrielle Giffords is a good friend of mine, as she is of almost everyone in this community."

8:20 p.m. During the National Anthem, there is a close-up shot on most television channels of President Obama hand over his heart singing along.

8:14 p.m. Carlos Gonzalez, who is part Mexican and part Native American, gives a Native American prayer to a crowd that he admits is larger than usual for him. "Please, after hearing my blessing and my prayers, let us work towards harmony, towards wholeness and balance," he says. The prayer calls for guidance, energies of the family, honor for our ancestors, the ability to use humor, to be humble, and to bless the families of those who have lost their loved ones.

8:05 p.m.  Aaron Copland's "Fanfare For The Common Man'' conducted to begin the rally.

8:03 p.m. President Obama and the first lady have entered to a loud applause.

8:02 p.m. Robert Gibbs told reporters that the Obamas spent 45 minutes at the hospital, visiting Giffords; two of her staffers, Ron Barber and Pam Simon; and two other, unidentified victims. The Obamas, with Sens. McCain and Kyl and Attorney General Holder, met with 13 family members of the deceased.

7:59 p.m. The crowd didn't show quite as much enthusiasm for the McCains, according to Jason Dick: "John and Cindy McCain get cheers but not too loud.... Overheard in press box: 'I don't think this is John McCain's house.'"

7:54 p.m. The crowd continues to be excited, says Jason Dick. First Reps. James Clyburn, D-S.C., and Raul Grijalva, D-Ariz., get cheers, then former Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O'Connor gets cheers, and then Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi got "LOUD cheers. Very loud."

7:50 p.m. Spotted. Jason Dick that both Arizona senators, Republicans John McCain and Jon Kyl, as well as GOP Sen. John Barrasso of Wyoming, are at the McKale Center.

7:46 p.m. Free swag alert! Jason Dick tweets: "Each seat at the McKale Center comes with a blue 'Together We Thrive: Tucson and America' t-shirt. 100% cotton. Preshrunk. Made in Haiti."

7:38 p.m. Here is a link to a live streaming of the remarks that will begin at 8 p.m.

7:34 p.m. The crowd seems to be in high spirits according to our Jason Dick who reports another couple rounds of cheering. Dick says: "Pima County Sheriff Clarence Dupnik gets some loud, loud cheers. Waves to crowd. Daniel Hernandez, who applied first aid to Giffords, gets a big cheer."

7:15 p.m. National Journal's Jason Dick reports from the scene at the McKale Center, saying that the trauma surgeons just entered into the area and the crowd went wild.

7:12 p.m. Hotline's Reid Wilson tweeted: "Gibbs: Obama will "reflect on how all of us might best honor [victims'] memory in our own lives.""

7:09 p.m. Mark Knoller of CBS tweeted: "During hospital visit, Obamas spent 9 minutes with Rep. Giffords and her husband, astronaut Mark Kelly."

7:01 p.m. At the top of the hour Hardball on MSNBC and John King USA on CNN begin by mentioning Sarah Palin's use of the term "blood libel." Fox News does not.

6:51 p.m. Earlier this evening, CNN reported that the father of Jared Loughner had asked his son about a black bag he was holding on the morning of the shooting. Jared reportedly mumbled something and drove off. His father tried to catch up to him but figured he probably had driven off to the desert.

6:46 p.m. National Journal's Jason Dick tweeted: "Even the VIP line into McKale Center isn't moving."

6:39 p.m.  Rep. Jim McDermott speaks on MSNBC after the arrest of a California man on Wednesday for making death threats against him and his family. “You can’t back down’’ or be intimidated by potential assailants, the Washington Democrat says.

6:21 p.m. The Pima County Sheriff's Department has released a statement saying that at the request of Judge John Roll's family there will be no media presence at the Rosary or funeral.

6:17 p.m. From pool report: The Obamas will see members of the victims’ families at the site of the Memorial Service, before it begins, Press Secretary Robert Gibbs said.

6:01p.m. President Obama is on his way to visit Giffords in the hospital according to a pool report from the Wall Street Journal's Laura Meckler. Here is the report:

News: We are heading to University Medical Center to see Rep Giffords, husband and several other victims still in the hospital. Pool will hold outside. "The president wanted to begin this solemn trip by stopping first at the hospital where congresswoman giffords and others continue to recuperate." Flotus and potus walked down steps and each spoke for a few moments with each of several greeters (names below). Flotus was first, followed by potus, Eric Holder, Janet Napolitano, Justice Kennedy, Nancy Pelosi and then the congressional dlegation. The president and Mrs. Obama then spoke to a few people behind the barrier (rope line), several of them in Air Force fatigues. The president is wearing a dark suit with a black tie. Flotus is in a short purple dress with a white cardigan adorned with purple flowers and pearls. Meeting potus et al at bottom of steps: Governor Jan Brewer (she was first greeter) Rep. Raul Grijalva Mayor of Tuscon Robert Walkup Dennis Burke, US Attorney for Arizona Col. John Cherrey - 355th fighter wing commander CMSgt. Vincent Howard- 355 fighter wing command chief Sherrif Clarence Dupnik Brig. General Gary Batinich Rep. Hansen Clarke And yes, weather is gorgeous here. Laura Meckler Wall Street Journal

 

5:25 p.m. The number of people hoping to attend tonight's “Together We Thrive: Tucson and America” event with President Obama has exceeded the capacity of McKale Memorial Center, University of Arizona news reports. The center is supposed to hold about 14,000. The overflow, they say, will likely be seated in Arizona Stadium, where a video of the event will be broadcast on the scoreboard's big screen. The video also will also be streamed live on the Arizona Public Media website. 

More event details can be found here.

5:20 p.m. Court officials confimed earlier today that the trial of Jared Lee Loughner was assigned to Judge Larry A. Burns of the Southern District of California.

4:10 p.m. Florida Rep. Tom Rooney on MSNBC: “We’re still really stuck I think in the past when it comes to it how we treat and how we interact with those who might need mental health help.”

3:23 p.m. Sarah Palin got some more viral buzz this afternoon when her controversial video statement got put in password-only territory on Vimeo. But "BreakingNews" just tweeted: “CORRECTION: Palin libel video remains accessible at http://vimeo.com/18698532."

3:00 p.m. "Erad," the online avatar for the video game Earth Empires, was confirmed by Reuters to be Loughner. Past posts such as, "Wondering why I feel hate," could provide insight into Loughner's troubled mental state.

3:04 p.m. NBC News's Michael Isikoff reports on Loughner's failed attempt to enlist in the Army, gaining insight into past legal problems:

"In December of 2008, [Loughner] tries to recruit with the Army," Isikoff reported. "He's interviewed as part of the standard recruiting process, and he admits to being a drug user. In fact, I've been told by his recruiter that he used marijuana over 100 times. Now, in and of itself, that was a barrier for him entering the Army. The recruitment process stopped right there; he never even got to the drug testing phase. One question that's being asked here is is that information that the Army should have passed along to, say, the FBI, which is charged with doing background checks and habitual drug users are denied the right to buy guns. The Army says there's -- if somebody is not a member of the military, they have no right to pass along that information. But people are raising questions about that."

2:31 p.m. As lawmakers continue to debate about what the Tucson tragedy means for security, the U.S. Department of Justice just issued the following press release on threats made to another member of Congress:

-----------------

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
January 12, 2011

PALM SPRINGS RESIDENT ARRESTED FOR MAKING DEATH THREATS AGAINST WASHINGTON CONGRESSMAN JIM McDERMOTT
Defendant Left Expletive-Laden, Threatening Voice Mail Messages Following Tax Cut Debate

           CHARLES TURNER HABERMANN, 32, of Palm Springs, California, was arrested this morning after being charged by federal criminal complaint with threatening a federal official.  HABERMANN is alleged to have made two expletive-laden, threatening phone calls to the Seattle office of Congressman Jim McDermott on December 9, 2010.  In the first call recorded on the office answering system, HABERMANN threatens to kill Congressman McDermott, his friends and family.  In the second call HABERMANN says he will hire someone to put Congressman McDermott “in the trash.”  HABERMANN was interviewed by the FBI on December 10, 2010, regarding the calls to Congressman McDermott, and another threatening call made to a California Congresswoman.  HABERMANN is expected to make his initial appearance today on the 3:00 p.m. calendar in federal court in Riverside, California.
            “We are blessed to live in a country that guarantees and protects the freedom to disagree with our government and speak our minds.  That protection, however, does not extend to threats or acts of violence.  Those actions are intended to silence debate, not further it.  They instill fear not just in the immediate victims, but in many who might hold the same views or take the same course.  Such threats are crimes, and the individuals who make them must be held accountable,” said U.S. Attorney Jenny A. Durkan.
            In the voice mail messages HABERMANN stated he had seen Congressman McDermott on television.  In the messages he disparages and threatens Congressman McDermott and other Democrats for their views on tax cuts and unemployment insurance.  On the voice mail messages HABERMANN threatens to kill Congressman McDermott in an effort to impede, intimidate and interfere with his vote on the tax cut proposal in December 2010.
            HABERMANN was investigated in March 2010, for similar conduct involving threats to a California Assembly Person.  In that instance, HABERMANN went to the Assembly Person’s office to discuss the health care bill and was escorted out.  Following the office meeting, HABERMANN left two threatening voice mail messages.  HABERMANN was interviewed by the California Highway Patrol, and was issued a warning about his threatening conduct.
            Threatening a federal official is punishable by up to ten years in prison.
            The charges contained in the complaint are only allegations.  A person is presumed innocent unless and until he or she is proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.
            The case is being investigated by the FBI.  The case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Mike Dion.

-----------------

2:03 p.m. Reports that police officers were frequent visitors to the Loughner household prior to the shooting were confirmed by MSNBC, but all were unrelated to Jared Loughner, with the exception of a minor complaint.

2:00 p.m. "Hundreds" are already in line for tonight's memorial service in Tucson, MSNBC reports. President Obama's address at the service will begin at 8 p.m. EST and will last 15 minutes. The network also says Obama has made private calls to the victims' families. National Journal has photos of the Obamas preparing for their trip to Arizona.

1:00 p.m. House Speaker John Boehner's prepared remarks for today's bipartisan prayer service, courtesy of press secretary Michael Steel:

 

On the morning of January 8, 2011, an act of unspeakable violence rocked the morning air in Tucson, Arizona, where our colleague, Gabby Giffords, was busy with her staff conducting the business of the people. The senseless assault claimed the lives of six of our fellow citizens – including that of Gabe Zimmerman, a congressional staffer who took an oath to uphold and defend the Constitution, and died while well and faithfully discharging his duties. It left several more citizens, including Gabby, and two of her staff – Ron Barber and Pam Simon – fighting for their lives. Our Nation mourns for the victims. It yearns for peace. And it thirsts for answers. As our Nation struggles to comprehend this act of savagery – this fearful assault on all of our sacred responsibilities – it speaks well of our institution that its members have reacted not with a torrent of accusations hurled at each other, but courageously, with a collective embrace – the embrace of brothers, sisters, and countrymen. It is in that spirit that we assemble here today. Joining together in prayer can be a source of solace. It can also be a source of healing, strength, and resolve. As our National Motto indicates, our great and humble Nation places its trust in God. And having placed its trust in the Almighty, our Nation has secured the blessings of liberty against the agents of chaos, madness, and evil. No assailant's bullet – no twisted act of violence or cruelty – can silence the sacred dialogue of democracy. To Father Coughlin – Leader Pelosi – Leader Cantor – members of the majority and minority leadership – and to all of my colleagues on both sides of the aisle, and their spouses – thank you for being here today. Let us now join together in prayer for the souls of the fallen, the recovery of the wounded, and the healing of a nation.

 

12:16 p.m. Family members of two staffers who were shot and wounded Saturday made remarks at the press conference.

The family of Ron Barber, Giffords's Tucson district director: "We would like to let you all know that my dad, Ron Barber, is doing well after his second surgery yesterday morning, and he has been very alert since his six-hour surgery on Saturday. He was able to see his four grandchildren on Monday, which gave him great pleasure. We expect him to be released from the ICU on Thursday. On behalf of my dad and the rest of our family, we would like to give our heartfelt thanks to the community as a whole for the overwhelming support we have received.... Dad is so deeply saddened by the loss of his friend and fellow staff member Gabe Zimmerman and longtime friend Chief Judge John Roll. Our thoughts and prayers are with the other victims and their families during their recovery."

The family of Pam Simon, community outreach coordinator for Giffords, read a statement from Simon: "I am incredibly grateful for the outpouring of love and support of my family, friends, coworkers, and community. The wounds inflicted are healing, thanks to the amazing care of the doctors and staff here at the University Medical Center.... The deep wounds and needless loss of life, severe injury of coworkers and community members, and sadness over this act of violence will take much longer to heal. I am touched and encouraged by the tremendous caring and coming together of the community. I believe in the days and weeks ahead that we will work together to solve challenges and promote healing. I ask for your continued prayers for Gabrielle, my congresswoman and my friend, and that she has a full recovery. She is a leader who's truly needed in this nation. My special thanks to my wonderful husband, Bruce, for his support and for my children for being here throughout this time."

12:05 p.m. Dr. Peter Rhee appeared at a noon presser to update the public on Giffords and the other victims.reportedly contains ammunition

"We still have six patients in the hospital: One patient remains in a critical fashion, two are serious, and three are in fair condition," Rhee said. "One of the patients got upgraded to serious for a little while because they were on a ventilator or a breathing machine right after we were doing surgery, which is very customary and normal.... The update on the congresswoman at this time period is that it's going as anticipated.

"At this time period, things can go very slowly, and progress can occur very rapidly at some particular time and actually can also go in a negative fashion in a downward way as well. I'm happy to state that none of the downward events have occurred at this time, which is kind of what we wanted to have happen at this point. We have decreased the amount of sedation that we're giving her, and as a result of that she's becoming more and more spontaneous all the time."

12:01 p.m. MSNBC reports that in addition to having a confrontation with his father the morning of the shooting, Loughner was also pulled over by a wildlife officer after he ran a red light. According to the network, the officer "let Loughner go after seeing that he had no outstanding warrants."

11:50 a.m. Outgoing Kentucky Secretary of State Trey Grayson (R) received an e-mail from Giffords on the eve of the shooting, in which she wrote: “I would love to talk about what we can do to promote centrism and moderation. I think that we need to figure out how to tone our rhetoric and partisanship down.”

This morning, Grayson spoke with NPR’s Morning Edition host Renee Montagne. Asked whether or not he believed the shooting was related to political rhetoric -- specifically tea-party rhetoric stirred by Sarah Palin -- he said:

“I don’t have any reason to believe to believe that this particular tragedy was related to this problem that’s out there, but it’s out there. And whether it’s safety or whether it’s just discouraging folks from attending town hall meetings and contacting their representatives and believing we can come to solutions. I think if we’re going to honor Gabby and these other victims, we have to address this problem. There’s plenty of blame for everybody to go around here.... I don’t think there’s a single elected official or candidate for higher office who has not done or said something that you really wish you hadn’t done or said.”

On what happens next: “I suspect there will not be a big change, but if we could have a little change, oftentimes when our country faces critical moments, we see things and we do change as a nation.”

Listen to the interview in its entirety:

10:56 a.m. National Journal's Sue Davis got ahold of the full text of the resolution, which will be "debatable for six hours, but equally controlled by the Majority Leader and the Minority Leader."

10:30 a.m. House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi takes the podium: "I'm pleased and saddened, greatly saddened, to join the Speaker of the House, Mr. Boehner, in coming together in sadness today to share our prayers and, indeed, our hopes for those who have lost so much because of the tragedy in Arizona involving our colleague, Congresswoman Gabby Giffords, her staff, and innocent bystanders. Words aren't adequate at a time like this. But nonetheless, I hope it's a comfort to those who lost loved ones or who were injured on Saturday that so many people mourn the losses, but also pray for the survivors and care for them at this very difficult time.

"...Our colleague Congresswoman Giffords was the primary target of a cowardly act, and as she recovers, we honor her as a brilliant and courageous member of Congress. She brought to Congress an invigoration, the thinking of a new generation of national leaders.... She came to Congress full of ideas, and we will long continue to be blessed by them.... She has spoken out courageously and led boldly when the times demanded it. Especially tragic that those who lost their lives and those who were wounded had come together as a resolution presents to participate in an activity that reflects the best of our democratic tradition. A representative of the people, Gabby Giffords, and her staff hearing directly from the men and women she represents. American democracy is founded on our commitment to a contest of ideas, not violence. Political disagreement and dissent must never violate our nation's values, as expressed in the Constitution, of free expression, speech, and peaceful assembly. Gabby spoke to that right here from the floor last week. In this hour of anguish, we seek renewed commitment to hope, to civility, and hope to the American people. In many of our churches, we sing on Sunday and other days of the week, let there be peace on Earth and let it begin, not just with us, but with me. With each of us. Within each of us. And speaking as one House today coming together... we offer our thoughts and support, our prayers, for the health of our colleague and all of the injured. We share the stories of the heroes of the tragedy and mourn those who perished. Let their actions and their memories be a blessing to our country. We don't know why God saw this to be necessary, but let this be something that we cherish as an opportunity as we mourn the heartbreaking horror of it all.

"...May this resolution remind us of the urgent need to uphold our democratic values, to treat one another with courtesy and with respect, and to act as Congresswoman Giffords has always done and always do in a manner that reflects the best of American leadership. As our thoughts and prayers go out to the families of all who were affected, i want to call special attention to commander Navy Capt. Mark Kelly, Gabby's husband, who has been a source of strength to all of us in this difficult time. We pray for him. We thank him for his and Gabby's service to our country. God truly blessed america with their leadership, with their service and with their love for each other."

10:25 a.m. Boehner continues: "We gather here without distinction of party, and the needs of this institution have always risen above partisanship. What this institution needs right now is strength -- holy and uplifting strength. The strength to grieve with the families of the fallen, to pray for the wounded, and to chart a way forward no matter how painful and difficult it may be. Today is not a ceremony, but tragedy that stirs us to renew our commitment to faithfully fulfill our oaths of office. And let us not let this inhuman act frighten us into doing otherwise.

"...The free exchange of ideas is the life blood of our democracy, as described by the First Amendment, "the beacon" a free expression that Congresswoman Giffords explained just days ago. They have been preserved and protected through generations of hard sacrifice and commitment. And we will continue the unfinished work. We will do it for Christina-Taylor Green, Dorothy Morris, Phyllis Schneck, and we will do it for Judge John Roll and do it for Gabe Zimmerman. And we will do it, God willing, with Gabrielle Giffords.

"...Our hearts are broken, but our spirit is not. This is a time for the house to lock arms in prayer for the fallen and wounded and the resolve to carry on a democracy. We may not yet have all the final answers, but we already have the answer that matters most: That we're Americans and we'll make it through this difficult period. We will have the last word."

10:20 a.m. House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, delivers remarks: "Today, we're called here to mourn. An unspeakable act of violence has taken six innocent lives and left several more, including our colleague, Gabrielle Giffords, battling for theirs. These are difficult hours for our country.

"Look to Tucson right now and you'll be reminded that America's most plentiful source of wealth and strength is their people. We're thankful, so thankful, that Gabby is still with us, and we're thankful that two of her staffers who were also wounded... are with us, as well. And Gabby's staff has pressed on opening for business Monday morning right on schedule. The men and women who faithfully serve the people of Arizona's 8th District have signaled that no act, no matter how heinous, will stop us from doing our duty and being among the benefit we serve. To all the dedicated professionals that we rely on to make this institution work, to each of you, thank you for what you do. And to Gabby's staff and their families, please know that our hearts and prayers go out to each of you. This body has yet to fully register the magnitude of this tragedy."

10:04 a.m. The House just gaveled in to honor Rep. Giffords and roll out a resolution in the victims' memory. Stay tuned.

9:28 a.m. Another tweet from Major Garrett: "House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi recently arrived at Capitol to sign condolence book for shooting victims."

9:13 a.m. National Journal's Major Garrett tweets: "Speaker Boehner will open House session at 10 am EST w/statement on Giffords shooting & mourning 'senseless loss of life.'" and "At 1 p.m. Boehner will attend bipartisan prayer service. He will sign condolence book in Capitol Visitors Center before service."

8:17 a.m. Bill Hileman, whose wife had brought 9-year-old Christina-Taylor Green to the "Congress on Your Corner" event and who was badly injured in the shooting, on ABC's Good Morning America: "Susie had her second major operation yesterday. Initially, when she was brought in, they had to make sure of her vitals... but left unattended the fractured hip [from when] she fell. She was able to avoid getting a total hip replacement.

"When she kind of comes out of those semi-dream twilight states, she is very vocal with tidbits that come sentence by sentence; she’s reliving things in her mind, she calls out for Christina, she talks about the impact of the bullets and the very dramatic sense of bleeding out on the ground. It’s the last thing that she remembers."

7:35 a.m. Loughner's high school "best friend," Zach Osler, speaks to Good Morning America about Loughner:

"He wasn't shooting at people; he was shooting at the world."

About Loughner's chilling mug shot: "I can't look at that.... It scares me. I wish I could have helped it."

On the blaming of political rhetoric: "He didn't take sides. He wasn't on the left, he wasn't on the right." Instead, Osler points to the online documentary series Zeitgeist that criticizes currency-based economics as a shaping influence in Loughner's life.

7:27 a.m. On NBC's Today show, Giffords's communications director, C.J. Karamargin, says of staffers Ron Barbour and Pam Simon, who were injured in the shooting: "They are doing well. I spoke to Ron yesterday, his family is going to make its first public statement today. Pam is strong, she asked me about dark chocolate -- we have an ongoing joke in our office. Both are doing well and that too is so important to us."

On Gabe Zimmerman, the staffer who died: "Gabe’s death will leave a gaping hole in our office, our hearts."

6:55 a.m. Sarah Palin, who has been hounded about her PAC's "cross-hairs map" in the wake of the shooting, just gave her first extended comments on the tragedy in an eight-minute video. The former vice presidential candidate goes on the defense, condemning the "blood libel" committed by the media in blaming the incendiary political climate. Read Palin's comments on her Facebook page or watch the video here:

 

12:05 p.m. Dr. Peter Rhee appeared at a noon presser to update the public on Giffords and the other victims.

"We still have six patients in the hospital: One patient remains in a critical fashion, two are serious, and three are in fair condition," Rhee said. "One of the patients got upgraded to serious for a little while because they were on a ventilator or a breathing machine right after we were doing surgery, which is very customary and normal.... The update on the congresswoman at this time period is that it's going as anticipated.

"At this time period, things can go very slowly, and progress can occur very rapidly at some particular time and actually can also go in a negative fashion in a downward way as well. I'm happy to state that none of the downward events have occurred at this time, which is kind of what we wanted to have happen at this point. We have decreased the amount of sedation that we're giving her, and as a result of that she's becoming more and more spontaneous all the time."

12:01 p.m. MSNBC reports that in addition to having a confrontation with his father the morning of the shooting, Loughner was also pulled over by a wildlife officer after he ran a red light. According to the network, the officer "let Loughner go after seeing that he had no outstanding warrants."

11:50 a.m. Outgoing Kentucky Secretary of State Trey Grayson (R) received an e-mail from Giffords on the eve of the shooting, in which she wrote: “I would love to talk about what we can do to promote centrism and moderation. I think that we need to figure out how to tone our rhetoric and partisanship down.”

This morning, Grayson spoke with NPR’s Morning Edition host Renee Montagne. Asked whether or not he believed the shooting was related to political rhetoric -- specifically tea-party rhetoric stirred by Sarah Palin -- he said:

“I don’t have any reason to believe to believe that this particular tragedy was related to this problem that’s out there, but it’s out there. And whether it’s safety or whether it’s just discouraging folks from attending town hall meetings and contacting their representatives and believing we can come to solutions. I think if we’re going to honor Gabby and these other victims, we have to address this problem. There’s plenty of blame for everybody to go around here.... I don’t think there’s a single elected official or candidate for higher office who has not done or said something that you really wish you hadn’t done or said.”

On what happens next: “I suspect there will not be a big change, but if we could have a little change, oftentimes when our country faces critical moments, we see things and we do change as a nation.”

Listen to the interview in its entirety:

10:56 a.m. National Journal's Sue Davis got ahold of the full text of the resolution, which will be "debatable for six hours, but equally controlled by the Majority Leader and the Minority Leader."

10:30 a.m. House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi takes the podium: "I'm pleased and saddened, greatly saddened, to join the Speaker of the House, Mr. Boehner, in coming together in sadness today to share our prayers and, indeed, our hopes for those who have lost so much because of the tragedy in Arizona involving our colleague, Congresswoman Gabby Giffords, her staff, and innocent bystanders. Words aren't adequate at a time like this. But nonetheless, I hope it's a comfort to those who lost loved ones or who were injured on Saturday that so many people mourn the losses, but also pray for the survivors and care for them at this very difficult time.

"...Our colleague Congresswoman Giffords was the primary target of a cowardly act, and as she recovers, we honor her as a brilliant and courageous member of Congress. She brought to Congress an invigoration, the thinking of a new generation of national leaders.... She came to Congress full of ideas, and we will long continue to be blessed by them.... She has spoken out courageously and led boldly when the times demanded it. Especially tragic that those who lost their lives and those who were wounded had come together as a resolution presents to participate in an activity that reflects the best of our democratic tradition. A representative of the people, Gabby Giffords, and her staff hearing directly from the men and women she represents. American democracy is founded on our commitment to a contest of ideas, not violence. Political disagreement and dissent must never violate our nation's values, as expressed in the Constitution, of free expression, speech, and peaceful assembly. Gabby spoke to that right here from the floor last week. In this hour of anguish, we seek renewed commitment to hope, to civility, and hope to the American people. In many of our churches, we sing on Sunday and other days of the week, let there be peace on Earth and let it begin, not just with us, but with me. With each of us. Within each of us. And speaking as one House today coming together... we offer our thoughts and support, our prayers, for the health of our colleague and all of the injured. We share the stories of the heroes of the tragedy and mourn those who perished. Let their actions and their memories be a blessing to our country. We don't know why God saw this to be necessary, but let this be something that we cherish as an opportunity as we mourn the heartbreaking horror of it all.

"...May this resolution remind us of the urgent need to uphold our democratic values, to treat one another with courtesy and with respect, and to act as Congresswoman Giffords has always done and always do in a manner that reflects the best of American leadership. As our thoughts and prayers go out to the families of all who were affected, i want to call special attention to commander Navy Capt. Mark Kelly, Gabby's husband, who has been a source of strength to all of us in this difficult time. We pray for him. We thank him for his and Gabby's service to our country. God truly blessed america with their leadership, with their service and with their love for each other."

10:25 a.m. Boehner continues: "We gather here without distinction of party, and the needs of this institution have always risen above partisanship. What this institution needs right now is strength -- holy and uplifting strength. The strength to grieve with the families of the fallen, to pray for the wounded, and to chart a way forward no matter how painful and difficult it may be. Today is not a ceremony, but tragedy that stirs us to renew our commitment to faithfully fulfill our oaths of office. And let us not let this inhuman act frighten us into doing otherwise.

"...The free exchange of ideas is the life blood of our democracy, as described by the First Amendment, "the beacon" a free expression that Congresswoman Giffords explained just days ago. They have been preserved and protected through generations of hard sacrifice and commitment. And we will continue the unfinished work. We will do it for Christina-Taylor Green, Dorothy Morris, Phyllis Schneck, and we will do it for Judge John Roll and do it for Gabe Zimmerman. And we will do it, God willing, with Gabrielle Giffords.

"...Our hearts are broken, but our spirit is not. This is a time for the house to lock arms in prayer for the fallen and wounded and the resolve to carry on a democracy. We may not yet have all the final answers, but we already have the answer that matters most: That we're Americans and we'll make it through this difficult period. We will have the last word."

10:20 a.m. House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, delivers remarks: "Today, we're called here to mourn. An unspeakable act of violence has taken six innocent lives and left several more, including our colleague, Gabrielle Giffords, battling for theirs. These are difficult hours for our country.

"Look to Tucson right now and you'll be reminded that America's most plentiful source of wealth and strength is their people. We're thankful, so thankful, that Gabby is still with us, and we're thankful that two of her staffers who were also wounded... are with us, as well. And Gabby's staff has pressed on opening for business Monday morning right on schedule. The men and women who faithfully serve the people of Arizona's 8th District have signaled that no act, no matter how heinous, will stop us from doing our duty and being among the benefit we serve. To all the dedicated professionals that we rely on to make this institution work, to each of you, thank you for what you do. And to Gabby's staff and their families, please know that our hearts and prayers go out to each of you. This body has yet to fully register the magnitude of this tragedy."

10:04 a.m. The House just gaveled in to honor Rep. Giffords and roll out a resolution in the victims' memory. Stay tuned.

9:28 a.m. Another tweet from Major Garrett: "House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi recently arrived at Capitol to sign condolence book for shooting victims."

9:13 a.m. National Journal's Major Garrett tweets: "Speaker Boehner will open House session at 10 am EST w/statement on Giffords shooting & mourning 'senseless loss of life.'" and "At 1 p.m. Boehner will attend bipartisan prayer service. He will sign condolence book in Capitol Visitors Center before service."

8:17 a.m. Bill Hileman, whose wife had brought 9-year-old Christina-Taylor Green to the "Congress on Your Corner" event and who was badly injured in the shooting, on ABC's Good Morning America: "Susie had her second major operation yesterday. Initially, when she was brought in, they had to make sure of her vitals... but left unattended the fractured hip [from when] she fell. She was able to avoid getting a total hip replacement.

"When she kind of comes out of those semi-dream twilight states, she is very vocal with tidbits that come sentence by sentence; she’s reliving things in her mind, she calls out for Christina, she talks about the impact of the bullets and the very dramatic sense of bleeding out on the ground. It’s the last thing that she remembers."

7:35 a.m. Loughner's high school "best friend," Zach Osler, speaks to Good Morning America about Loughner:

"He wasn't shooting at people; he was shooting at the world."

About Loughner's chilling mug shot: "I can't look at that.... It scares me. I wish I could have helped it."

On the blaming of political rhetoric: "He didn't take sides. He wasn't on the left, he wasn't on the right." Instead, Osler points to the online documentary series Zeitgeist that criticizes currency-based economics as a shaping influence in Loughner's life.

7:27 a.m. On NBC's Today show, Giffords's communications director, C.J. Karamargin, says of staffers Ron Barber and Pam Simon, who were injured in the shooting: "They are doing well. I spoke to Ron yesterday, his family is going to make its first public statement today. Pam is strong, she asked me about dark chocolate -- we have an ongoing joke in our office. Both are doing well and that too is so important to us."

On Gabe Zimmerman, the staffer who died: "Gabe’s death will leave a gaping hole in our office, our hearts."

6:55 a.m. Sarah Palin, who has been hounded about her PAC's "cross-hairs map" in the wake of the shooting, just gave her first extended comments on the tragedy in an eight-minute video. The former vice presidential candidate goes on the defense, condemning the "blood libel" committed by the media in blaming the incendiary political climate. Read Palin's comments on her Facebook page or watch the video here:

6:30 a.m. Giffords's staff released two photos Tuesday night to give the public a glimpse into Giffords's hospital room; both show husband Mark Kelly's continued support. Meanwhile, Dr. Peter Rhee updated his optimism: He said Tuesday he is "101 percent" certain that Giffords will survive.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

5:53 p.m. Statement from Loughner’s family read on CNN: “This is a very difficult time for us,” they said in the statement, asking the media to respect their privacy. “We don’t understand why this happened,” the statement says. “We care very deeply about the victims and their families.”

5:50 p.m. Just three days late, the Office of the U.S. Attorney said it is offering a hotline for the victims of the Tucson shooting. In the press release, U.S. Attorney for the District of Arizona Dennis K. Burke says “We are doing everything we can to help the victims of this terrible shooting.”

5:39 p.m. After a unanimous vote in the Arizona House of Representatives on the funeral protection zone bill, Gov. Jan Brewer is expected to sign it today.

4:57 pm. Wondering where Loughner's parents are? So is Garance Franke-Ruta, a senior editor at The Atlantic.Check out her blog post.

4:42 p.m. Matt Heinz, Tucson-based doctor and member of the Arizona House of Representatives, explains the funeral protection zone bill on CNN, which will allow for a protective zone of 300 feet surrounding the property where any funeral is occurring. The vote, he said, is scheduled to take place in the next 10 to 15 minutes and assured that is it a strongly supported measure. “I believe this will be unanimous,” he said. This would directly affect the funeral of 9-year-old Christina Green.

4:34 p.m. CNN reports that a neighbor coming out of Jared Loughner’s family house told CNN that the suspect’s father assured that at some point, when they are ready, they will make a statement.

4:01 p.m. Former president Bill Clinton told the BBC that political rhetoric "falls on the unhinged and the hinged alike." Speaking to the BBC during a trip to Haiti, he said: "This is an occasion for us to reaffirm that our political differences shouldn't degenerate into demonization, in the sense that if you don't agree with me you're not a good American." Clinton added that Congress should “lead the way” in toning down and “go beyond turning this into politics.”

2:40 p.m. The Pima County Sheriff's Department released the following timeline of events to honor those killed by the shooting. In a press release, Deputy Renee Carlson states: "All the local agencies are working in conjunction with the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Alcohol Tobacco and Firearms and U. S. Marshals to ensure that the events are secure for the families and members of the community to come together to mourn the loss of those who lost their lives in this tragedy."

  • January 11, 2011- Mass at 1900 hours at St. Odillia
  • January 12, 2011- Rosary for Christina Green from 1700 to 1900 hours at St. Odillia
  • January 13, 2011- Funeral for Christina Green at 1300 hours at St. Elizabeth Ann Seton
  • January 13, 2011- Rosary for John Roll from 1700 to 1900 hours at St. Thomas
  • January 14, 2011- Funeral for John Roll at 1000 hours at St. Elizabeth Ann Seton
  • January 14, 2011- Burial for John Roll to follow the Funeral at Holy Hope Cemetery (Private)

2:12 p.m. MSNBC has video of House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi visiting Rep. Giffords's office.

1:30 p.m. The full text of the bipartisan House resolution to honor Giffords and those affected by the tragedy is available here. Submitted by Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, the resolution will hit the House floor Wednesday.

12:15 p.m. Comments from the victims' family members:

Daughter of Dorwin Stoddard: "I think our first statement would be to compliment the hero that lie on our father and we are blessed that he is walking with the Lord now and what a way to go as the hero; he lived that kind of a life. And I also think at this time we would love to say that it just brings the hero out in all of us at times of tragedy... and we just are very appreciative to everyone who stepped forward during the tragedy and as it went forward, there's so many people to thank. There were people on the scene that sat with our parents, prayed with them, held them, helped them, as well as everyone else; there are volunteers that are organized, as well as unorganized volunteers to step in just immediately; the hospital staff, FBI, everyone has been extremely helpful and we appreciate that. Our mother is doing quite well, actually. She has a lot of strength and courage and she will go forward."

Husband of Susan  Hileman, who took Christina-Taylor Green to the event: "My wife, Susie, was the parent that took Christina-Taylor Green to this event. We have been here since 2006; my wife and I were fortunate to be able to take two years and look all over the country to pick a community that we wanted to be part of. Tucson was the one that we selected feeling it was one of the most natural melting pots of America that we could ever find. It has been a very decent community to us-- this event is extra shocking because of that.

"...When Christina was elected to her student council and started to express interest in government and the notion of helping people, my wife had been a social worker in New York and Chicago and Susie started looking for an event that she could share as they have done many other things. Gabby's event made all kinds of sense; from my wife's political preferences, it was a magnificent chance to provide a positive public female role model for little Christina. The two of them were together holding hands" at the time of the shooting.

12:08 p.m. Dr. Michael Lemole says of Giffords's status: "She's holding her own. Her status is the same as it was yesterday. She's still following those simple commands. We've been able to back off on some of that sedation and, in fact, she's able to generate her own breaths. She's breathing on her own. In fact, the only reason we keep the breathing tube in is to protect her airway to make sure she doesn't have complications like pneumonia.”

Meanwhile, Dr. Peter Rhee says of the other five patients: “We are currently at six patients still remaining in the hospital, one in critical condition, three in serious condition, and two in fair condition. One of the patients is undergoing surgery right now and the other one has already had their surgery today. Additional surgeries are planned for the rest of the week, but everything is currently going well with all those patients and progressing as expected and so far, no issues or problems at this time period."

12:05 p.m. Doctors say Giffords’s condition is “unchanged,” and that she can breathe on her own. More to come.

11:36 a.m. Dr. Michael Lemole tells CBS that Giffords will be "out of the woods" within the week: "We don't close the book on recovery for years. So, it will take as long as it takes," he said. "I think the most important question to ask is how long will it be before she's out of the woods, so to speak. And that, I think, will be in the next few days, maybe week."

11:33 a.m. National Journal's Terry Samuel confirms with House Speaker John Boehner's spokesman Michael Steel that Boehner will meet with the House sergeant at arms this afternoon.

11:28 a.m. A Fox News interview with Sheriff Edgar Domenech raises questions about Loughner's gun, which was reported to have been purchased legally.

"It indicates he went to a Federal Forms Licensee and filled out the 4473, which is form that an individual needs to fill out in order to purchase a gun from Federal Farms Licensee," Domenech said. "But there is one question on the form which asks, are you a drug user? All indications and preliminary investigations show that he was a drug user. So you have to ask -- if he had answered the question correctly."

11:25 a.m. New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg says he will back legislation by Rep. Peter King, R-N.Y., that would make it illegal to bring a gun within 1,000 feet of a government official, The Huffington Post reports. National Journal's Sara Sorcher has details on other New York and New Jersey lawmakers pushing gun control legislation in the wake of the Tucson tragedy.

11:20 a.m. In his pursuit of at least two pieces of criminal justice legislation, Senate Judiciary Chairman Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., said today that "things changed over the weekend.... The seething rhetoric has gone too far," National Journal's Chris Strohm reports.

11:15 a.m. Below is video from Britain’s Channel 4 News in which surgeon Peter Rhee says he is “100 percent” certain Giffords will survive the gunshot wound he has been treating since Saturday. “As a physician, I’m going to get into a lot of trouble for this, but her prognosis for survival is 100 percent, as far as it being short-term.”

10:01 a.m.  Sen. John Kerry, D-Mass., spoke on the tragedy in an address this morning at the Center for American Progress in Washington. Here is an excerpt of his remarks:

"Someone might ask why, with our country in mourning, we are here this morning continuing to talk about the business of the country. But the truth is that is what Gabrielle Giffords was doing -- talking about the business of the country. And the truth is, talking about the business of our country is more urgent than ever.

"John and I considered postponing this speech, which had been planned for some time. But serious times call for serious discussions. And after some reflection, both of us felt that not only should this speech not be postponed, but that, in fact, it was imperative to give it.

"So obviously, as we gather here this morning, last weekend’s unspeakable tragedy is at the forefront of all of our minds. Our thoughts are with Congresswoman Giffords and the families of all the victims. We pray for her full recovery, even as a nation mourns the loss of innocent life in such a senseless act.

"All of us struggle to understand this horrific event. There is much we still don’t know about what happened and why. But here’s what we do know without any question: On Saturday, a public servant went to meet with her constituents in the best tradition of our democracy, and while out, just doing her job, Congresswoman Giffords was shot down. Today she's fighting for her life, and six people lost their lives in this senseless assault not just on them, but, in its calculated planning for assassination, an assault on our democracy itself.

"Eerily, I heard this weekend’s news while in Sudan, representing our country in our collective effort to help a people who have endured unspeakable violence and who are trying to make a fresh start through their democracy. Yet as I stood beside those Africans who have lost loved ones in pursuit of the democratic values we Americans so proudly export to the world, there was an unavoidable clash with the events unfolding in Tucson -- a dramatic underscoring of the work that must be done to revitalize our own democracy here at home.

"Many observers have already reduced this tragedy to simple questions of whether overheated rhetoric is to blame, or one partisan group or another. And surely today many pundits and politicians are measuring their words a little more carefully and thinking a little more about what they’re saying. But in the weeks and months ahead, the real issue we need to confront isn’t just what role divisive political rhetoric may have played on Saturday -- but it’s the violence divisive, overly simplistic dialogue does to our democracy every day."

9:38 a.m. AP reports that Loughner's parents are "devastated and guilt-ridden." Fox News said this morning that a statement written by Loughner's father may be released by the Pima County Sheriff's Department later today.

9:08 a.m. Dave Weigel of Slate reports on conspiracy forum website AboveTopSecret’s claims that “anecdotal evidence” suggests a frequent contributor called Erad3 was Jared Loughner. According to Weigel, “The best evidence I've seen: On August 7, 2010, Erad3 put up a post about ‘infinite currency’ that matches what Loughner wrote in a December YouTube video. So if this is Loughner, what else did he think? It's hard to interpret. The first comment we can interpret politically is this, from July 2010, about the possibility of war in Iran.”

8:40 a.m. CNN reports that some people planning to attend 9-year-old Christina-Taylor Green’s funeral will don 8-by-10-foot “angel wings” to shield mourners from Westboro Baptist Church picketers. The Topeka, Kan., church has made headlines for protesting people who died of AIDS, gay people, and members of the military; it plans to picket Green's funeral because of her family's Catholicism.

8:10 a.m. Dr. Michael Lemole, chief of neurosurgery at University Medical Center, appeared on CBS this morning to comment on day three of Giffords’s recovery process.

“It’s one of the typical landmarks that we watch very closely,” Lemole said. “Because in a lot of people, this is the maximum day of swelling. But I caution everyone out there, this does not have to be that day; we might have to be on pins and needles for more days.”

8:00 a.m. AP's Pauline Arrillaga, in Tucson: “Doctors said Rep. Gabrielle Giffords had given a ‘thumbs up’ sign and tried to grab her breathing tube -- heartening developments two days after surgery for a gunshot wound to the head. Dr. Peter Rhee said surgeons had seen many encouraging signs. On Sunday and Monday, Giffords was able to respond to a verbal command by raising two fingers with her left hand.... [W]hile her brain remains swollen, the pressure isn't increasing -- a good sign for the congresswoman's recovery.”

7:50 a.m. Sen. Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio, tells hosts of MSNBC’s Morning Joe that he will “probably” employ higher security at public events.

7:20 a.m. Senate Sergeant at Arms Terrance Gainer says on ABC's Good Morning America that Congress members who want to carry weapons in the wake of the shooting should reconsider. His comments here:

"I don't think it's a good idea; I think we should leave the security to the professionals. There's things we can do to help minimize the risk in the districts... you work with the staff and the police in the area, to say where the subject is going to be, how many people are going to be, and we can analyze the threat information we get. And then decide how many law enforcement officers need to be there."

7:10 a.m. Shooting survivor Eric Fuller recounted on CBS this morning the scene of the "bad crime drama":

“Well, it was -- it was like a bad crime drama, with a gun being pointed towards me, and a very -- seemed like athletic young man pumping rounds off at everybody, and taking aim at us. So, not wanting to leave the world very soon, and not thinking that I could do very much except maybe get killed trying to stop him from the vantage point that I was at, I fell to the ground, as other people were doing. And expected the worst to occur after that.”

He went on to offer Giffords “every kind of encouragement that I could possibly think of.”

Monday, January 10, 2011

6:11 p.m. Speaker John Boehner and Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi invited members to “gather together and pray” on Capitol Hill Wednesday afternoon at a Bipartisan Congressional Prayer Service.

5:38 p.m. The neurosurgeon who operated on Giffords, Dr. Michael Lemole, appeared on CNN’s The Situation Room with the latest update on her condition. “The good news is that she’s holding her own” Lemole said, who explained that Giffords is still responding to commands.

5:28 p.m. According to The Fix and the Pima County Registrar of Voters, Jared Lee Loughner was registered as an independent voter in Arizona in the fall of 2006, but didn’t vote in the 2010 election.

5:27 p.m. Talk about creepy... National Journal obtained a photo taken in custody of Loughner, which federal officials released just now. Loughner appears to be smiling in the photo, despite his bruised and swollen eye.

5:21 p.m. Washington Post reporter David Nakamura tweeted the courtroom sketch of Loughner today. Nakamura added that the courtroom artist told him that Loughner’s bruised eye disappeared into swelling and "looked creepy."

5:02 pm. CNN reporter Ted Rowlands reports on The Situation Room that Loughner "conducted himself with courtesy" in the courtroom today. "He answered every question very clearly," Rowlands said. "He conducted himself in a manner which was much different than you might think somebody who was capable of what he did on Saturday or allegedly did on Saturday morning."

4:33 p.m. According to Nakamura's tweets, U.S. Magistrate Judge Lawrence Anderson adjourned the hearing after 17 minutes "with the words: 'Good luck to you, Mr. Loughner.' "

4:31 p.m. CNN reporter Ted Rowlands, who was in the room, describes Loughner as “very robotic … but definitely comprehending.”

4:23 p.m. Washington Post reporter David Nakamura tweets: “Loughner says little in courtroom, just answers procedural questions. Public defender Judy Clarke pats him on back.” And just minutes earlier: “Loughner appears in court in khaki jumpsuit, handcuffs with chains around waist and leg chains; bruise on right forehead.”

4:01 p.m. MSNBC spoke to Rep. Trent Franks, R-Ariz., who commented on the lessons that can be learned from the tragedy. “We need to recognize how delicate each life is,” he said. “This is not just a political problem. This is a human problem.” He added, “If we start treating each other with that kind of respect and affection, I truly believe the world might have a chance.”

3:58 p.m. Audience at Brewer's address gives a round of applause for Daniel Hernandez, Giffords’ heroic intern.

3:56 p.m. Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer delivers her "state-of-the-state" address and holds a moment of silence for the victims.

3:55 p.m. A day before the Tucson rampage, the FBI said in court that a Colorado man made repeated death threats against staff members of Sen. Michael Bennet, D-Colo., incidents confirmed Monday by the Bennet’s office. “The FBI working with the Capitol Police have arrested the individual responsible for the threat,’’ said Adam Bozzi, Bennet’s communications director, in a statement. “Per their advice, we are referring inquiries related to this matter to the Capitol Police. Michael has full confidence in the law enforcement agencies handling the case and remains focused on his job serving the people of Colorado. According to the website "The Smoking Gun," the man claimed, “I’m a schizophrenic and I need help.” The full story and the Friday court filings are here.

3:32 p.m. Fox News spoke with Betty Jean Offutt, the daughter of Phyllis Schneck, the oldest victim, and the former head of the Arizona State Bar, Dee-Dee Samet, a friend of slain U.S. District Judge John Roll. Samet said Roll had many friends in the legal community. “He was one of the finest judges,” she said. Outside of the court, Samet said Roll was “just so sincere and considerate and always glad to see you and willing to take the time to talk to you.”

Offutt spoke about her mother, saying Schneck was a homemaker whose family always came first and church came second.

3:21 p.m. National Journal reporter Alex Roarty called our attention to one of the most interesting stories of the day—a Mother Jones interview with an old and close friend of Loughner's, Bryce Tierney, who got a voicemail from Loughner a few hours prior to the shooting, in which he said, “Hey man, it’s Jared. Me and you had good times. Peace out. Later.” Tierney told Mother Jones that Loughner “held a years-long grudge against Giffords and had repeatedly derided her as a 'fake.'"

3:11 p.m. National Journal editor Jason Dick, an Arizona native, has just landed with this piece about his homestate’s gun culture and how—or if—the weekend’s tragedy will affect the politics of gun control there.

2:29 p.m.  Tea Party Express founder Amy Kremer is outraged at what she calls the politicizing of the tragedy:

"I think the whole thing is absurd. We need to stop the rhetoric now and be considerate of these people who are victims and their families," Kremer told National Journal in an interview. "This is not about politics, this is not about being a Republican or a Democrat; this is about being a human being. Politics is not gonna solve this. Sure, it’s normal to have the rhetoric in our politics, but that’s not what this is about, and it needs to stop from everybody. We need to allow these families to grieve over the loss of their loved. This is about human life and dignity and respect.

"Anything can set off an unstable person—whether it’s road rage or someone going into a store that doesn’t have the kind of beer he wants. Most of these people trying to put blame somewhere are not psychological experts and have no idea what his motives were."

2:20 p.m. National Journal’s Cameron Joseph, monitoring chatter on right-wing blogs, finds that conservative activists feel they’re being unfairly tarred in the Arizona incident. They’re not mincing words.

Michelle Malkin: “The Tucson massacre ghouls who are now trying to criminalize conservatism have forced our hand. They need to be reminded. You need to be reminded. Confront them. Don’t be cowed into silence. And don’t let the media whitewash the sins of the hypocritical Left in their naked attempt to suppress the law-abiding, constitutionally-protected, peaceful, vigorous political speech of the Right.”

Ann Althouse: “Ah, now you see why the accusations backfire (if I may dare to use that word): the occasion has been created for conservatives to list every violent-sounding thing any liberals or lefties have ever said about anything. Knock yourselves out. If I may use the expression.”

2:15 p.m. The late President Ronald Reagan's son, Michael, weighs in on Fox News:

“To make it a political issue is just absolutely wrong."

After his father's assassination attempt, Michael said the agent in charge of Reagan's detail told him, "You will never be able to protect someone against the crazies."

“What happened over the weekend in Tucson, Arizona, was simply that," Reagan continued. "It was somebody out of their mind who decided to go in there and shoot and kill so many people—the judge, the 9-year-old girl, wounding Representative Giffords, and what have you. It was one of those crazies which you can't stop.

“To try to blame the right. Try to blame the left … is absolutely wrong.”

2:11 p.m. This just in from Bob Edgar, a former member of Congress who now heads Common Cause: The Pennsylvania Democrat is joining the growing chorus of commentators linking the tragedy in Arizona to all the violent talk from the campaign trail. “Our political dialogue is now sated with violent imagery,” said Edgar.

 “We’ve grown accustomed to phrases like ‘second amendment solutions’ and ‘don’t retreat, reload,’ that to twisted minds may incite violent acts,” he added, quoting two tea party GOP favorites, Sharron Angle, who ran unsuccessfully for Senate in Nevada, and Sarah Palin, the former GOP vice presidential nominee.

 “No one questions the power of well-chosen words and images to sell automobiles or beer or pharmaceuticals,” Edgar added. “Surely we should acknowledge that when poorly chosen they can provoke despicable acts like those we’ve now witnessed in Tucson.”

2:04 p.m. President Obama and French President Nicolas Sarkozy joined to deliver remarks on the Tucson tragedy. Here are excerpts of their remarks.

OBAMA: "I think it's important for us to also focus, though, on the extraordinary courage that was shown during the course of these events: a 20-year-old college student who ran into the line of fire to rescue his boss, a wounded woman who helped secure the ammunition that might have caused even more damage, the citizens who wrestled down the gunman. Part of what I think that speaks to is the best of America, even in the face of such mindless violence.

"And so in the coming days we're going to have a lot of time to reflect. Right now the main thing we're doing is to offer our thoughts and prayers to those who've been impacted, making sure that we're joining together and pulling together as a country.

"And as president of the United States, but also as a father, obviously I'm spending a lot of time just thinking about the families and reaching out to them."

SARKOZY: "I first of all want to say to the American people how deeply moved and upset the French people have been at your loss and tragedy. And I also want to thank President Obama for his expression of solidarity to the French people in light of the loss that we have felt with the cowardly killing of two young French men who were killed in a barbaric fashion by terrorists."

1:57 p.m. Giffords' operating surgeon, Dr. Peter Rhee, reports on the congresswoman's status: "I think this is coming on the 48th hour today so at this time, you know, how she does in this initial time period since the surgery is very important to us and so far, I'm still very optimistic about what's going to happen.

"Since the surgery, she has had a recovery that's been remarkable and so far we're very pleased with it. And every day in the intensive care unit, you're going to take some small steps forward. But once and a while, you take a few steps backwards and that's what we're trying to avoid.

"So at this time, we're just letting the body heal and go forward and all the indications that we have now is that it's still doing that. It's going forward. And we haven't taken any steps backwards and we're very happy with her care so far."

1:30 p.m. Another of the day's heroes, Patricia Maisch, who disarmed Loughner, recounts her experience: "I was there a couple of minutes before I heard a pop, and I knew immediately it was gunfire, and so in a split second I had to decide whether I was going to run and possibly become a target, because now the gunman was very near me, or lay down. So I laid down hoping I would—that would be less of a distraction to him. [When] the shooting stopped, two gentlemen had wrestled the shooter to the ground nearly on top of me. That is when he was on his right side, and they yelled, get the gun, and then get the magazine. I had by then knelt over his waist and could see he was getting a magazine out of his left pocket, and I could not reach the gun. The other gentleman had kicked the gun out of his way by a little bit, and I had the magazine."

1:28 p.m. Daniel Hernandez, an intern for Giffords and one of the day's many heroes to emerge, recounted on CNN his perspective of the tragic events: "When I got to the area where the congresswoman was expected to be, I saw a few people on the ground. So I first tried to make sure that those people who still had pulses and still had visible breaths were treated. I only got to see two or three people before I actually noticed that the congresswoman had been hit. And she had been hit severely. She had an injury to her head. She then became my first and only priority.

"I was, in high school, put through a certified nursing assistant program, as well as a phlebotomy program. So I'd had some basic first aid and triage skills. So those kind of kicked in and I made sure that I lifted up [Giffords] to make sure that she was breathing properly. And once I knew that she was breathing properly, tried to make sure that any wounds she had, I applied pressure so we could stem the blood loss."

More Congress
Job Board
Search Jobs
Digital and Content Manager, E4C
American Society of Civil Engineers | New York, NY
PRODUCT REVIEW ENGINEER
American Society of Civil Engineers | CA
Neighborhood Traffic Safety Services Intern
American Society of Civil Engineers | Bellevue, WA
United Technologies Research Fellow
American Society of Civil Engineers | New York, NY
Process Engineering Co-op
American Society of Civil Engineers | Conshohocken, PA
Electrical Engineer Co-op
American Society of Civil Engineers | Findlay, OH
Application Engineer/Developer INTERN - Complex Fluids
American Society of Civil Engineers | Brisbane, CA
Application Engineer - Internships CAE/CFD Metro Detroit
American Society of Civil Engineers | Livonia, MI
Chief Geoscientist
American Society of Civil Engineers
Application Engineer - Internships CAE/CFD Metro Boston
American Society of Civil Engineers | Burlington, MA
Professional Development Program Engineer
American Society of Civil Engineers | Farmington Hills, MI
Civil Enginering Intern - Water/Wastewater/Site-Development
American Society of Civil Engineers | Sacramento, CA
Staff Accountant
American Society of Civil Engineers | Englewood, CO
Biomedical Service Internship Position
American Society of Civil Engineers | Flint, MI
 
Comments
comments powered by Disqus