Judge orders Loughner held without bail in Giffords shooting

Jared Lee Loughner, the man accused of shooting Arizona Rep. Gabrielle Giffords (D), was orderd to be held without bail by a federal judge on Monday. 

Judge Lawrence Anderson also set Loughner's preliminary hearing for Jan. 24 at 1:30 p.m. Mountain time. 

Loughner made his first appearance at a heavily guarded courthouse in Phoenix. State and federal law enforcement agents surrounded the courthouse and about a dozen U.S. Marshals guarded to courtroom. According to The Associated Press, Loughner was clad in a tan inmate jumpsuit and had a shaved head. 

Loughner, 22, is accused of killing six and wounding 14 in a shooting spree at a meet-and-greet for Giffords's constituents in Tucson, Ariz., on Saturday. Among those killed were federal district Judge John Roll and Giffords aide Gabriel Zimmerman. Giffords suffered a gunshot wound to the head. 

Loughner faces five federal charges: the attempted assassination of Giffords, the killing of Roll and Zimmerman, and the attempted killing of staffers Pamela Simon and Ron Barber, who were carrying out their duties as federal officials. 

Representing Loughner during the hearing was well-known defense attorney Judy Clarke, who represented "Unabomber" Ted Kaczynski and Oklahoma City bomber Timothy McVeigh. Clarke also assisted in the case of convicted al Qaeda member Zacarias Moussaoui, who helped plot to take down New York's World Trade Center on Sept. 11, 2001.

Loughner appeared in court hours after hundreds of House staffers — and a handful of members — observed a moment of silence Monday morning in honor of Giffords and the other victims. 

Wrapped up against a frigid Washington morning, congressional aides packed the House steps of the Capitol with somber expressions and hardly a word.

Most bowed their heads, some tearfully; others looked straight ahead toward the U.S. Supreme Court, whose members convened a few minutes early to observe their own moment of silence. 

In the background, flags fluttered at half-staff in accordance with a proclamation by President Obama.

The Saturday shooting of Giffords — the first attempted assassination against a sitting member of Congress since 1978 — has left lawmakers and congressional staffers shell-shocked, forced GOP leaders to scrap their legislative plans for the week, and led Obama to call for a national moment of silence.

The president and first lady Michelle Obama observed that moment themselves at 11 a.m. at the White House, as a way, he said in advance, “for us to come together as a nation in prayer or reflection, keeping the victims and their families closely at heart.”

Obama made a short walk from the Diplomatic Reception Room to the South Lawn. A Marine chimed a bell three times from the Truman Balcony as the president and first lady solemnly bowed their heads.

Without speaking, Obama turned and put his arm around his wife before returning inside. 

The president said later in the day he hopes "out of this tragedy, we come together as a stronger nation."


Giffords's doctors said Monday that the congresswoman was making good progress — the swelling of her brain had not progressed — but that she was "not out of the woods yet." 

Congressional clergy were set to hold an interfaith service Monday afternoon for House and Senate staffers to pray for Giffords's health and for the other victims of the shooting.

The respective chaplains of the House and Senate, Father Daniel Coughlin and Rear Adm. Barry Black, will lead the service, along with Rabbi David Saperstein of the Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism. Giffords is Jewish.

The private service will be held in the Cannon Caucus Room at 3 p.m.

Giffords's congressional office, in the Longworth building, was shuttered on Monday, with two Capitol Police officers guarding the closed door. A single news camera was set up a few feet away, but it was unmanned. Although some staffers had placed flowers near the office since the shooting, none remained Monday morning.

Giffords's husband, astronaut Mark Kelly, thanked well-wishers Sunday evening in a statement released by the congresswoman's office.

"I want to extend our heartfelt gratitude to the people of Arizona and this great nation for their unbelievable outpouring of support," he said. "Gabby was doing what she loved most — hearing from her constituents — when this tragedy occurred.

"There is little that we can do but pray for those who are struggling," he said.

Speaking to reporters Monday after an Oval Office meeting with French President Nicolas Sarkozy, Obama said the coming days will provide "a lot of time to reflect" on the shootings. He hailed the heroics of some of the bystanders who witnessed the attack — an intern for Giffords, who moved quickly to assist her, has been credited with helping save her life.

"Part of what that speaks to is the best of America even in the face of such mindless violence," he said.

Obama noted that several victims, including Giffords, are "still fighting to recover," while the families of those killed are "absorbing the enormity of their losses."

Obama briefly mentioned the shooter, whom he called the "perpetrator of this heinous crime."

The White House said the president was briefed about the shooting twice on Monday morning by John Brennan, his top counterterrorism and national security assistant, and will continue to make calls to the victims' families throughout the week.

The White House said in a statement he "is assuring them that all is being done to try and get to the bottom of this." 

"He is offering his full support and thoughts and prayers on behalf of himself, Michelle and the entire nation," the statement said.

Obama spoke to FBI Director Robert Mueller on Sunday night to pass along his thanks to federal, state and local law enforcement officials, the White House said. The president also made calls over the weekend to congressional leaders, Giffords's husband, and to the families of the attack's youngest victim, Christina Taylor Green, as well as Zimmerman, the Giffords staffer who was killed.

The president also phoned Arizona GOP Sens. Jon Kyl and John McCain. 

White House aides have said they are unsure whether Obama will travel to Arizona.

According to the federal complaint against Loughner, the suspect had met Giffords at least once before, having attended a similar “Congress of Your Corner” event in 2007, for which the congresswoman sent him a letter thanking him for coming.

According to the complaint, investigators found an envelope in a safe at the suspect’s home on which were written the words “I planned ahead,” “My assassination” and “Giffords.”


—Russell Berman and Daniel Strauss contributed.

This story was first posted at 7:26 a.m. It was last updated at 2:18 p.m. and 5:08 p.m.