By Keith Laing
Rep. Gabrielle Giffords (D-Ariz.), who is recovering from a January assassination attempt, has been notified of the casualties of the shooting spree that marred an outreach event in her district.
The Arizona Republic reported Saturday that Giffords' aides and family decided late last month that she had recovered from her own shooting enough to learn more details of the attack. Giffords was already aware that six people had died in the incident, the paper said, but she did not know who they were until just before she returned to the Capitol to cast a vote on raising the federal debt ceiling.
On Jan. 8 at a "Congress On Your Corner" event outside a grocery store in Giffords' district, a gunman opened fire, wounding the congresswoman and 12 other people. Giffords was told of the six people who died in the incident, including longtime aide Gabe Zimmerman, U.S. District Judge John Roll and 9-year-old Christina-Taylor Green. Also killed were 76-year-old Dorothy Morris, 79-year-old Phyllis Schneck and 76-year-old Dorwan Stoddard, who died protecting his wife Mary, who was among the wounded.
The Republic reported that Giffords has spoken with Zimmerman's father to offer condolences.
Ross Zimmerman said Giffords said "She said she felt awful about Gabe.
"When Mark commented that she thought of (Gabe) as her little brother, she said 'yes' very emphatically," he said.
Zimmerman said that Giffords' was not yet at 100 percent, but he could tell from the telephone conversation "It was Gabrielle."
"She still has some trouble with language, but there is no question that she can get her point across and her comprehension is 100 percent," he said.