Rep. Giffords in critical condition; five counts filed against suspect

Rep. Giffords in critical condition; five counts filed against suspect

Rep. Gabrielle Giffords (D-Ariz.) remained in critical condition Sunday as the U.S. filed five federal charges against the man accused of opening fire at a district meet-and-greet in Tucson, Ariz.

The six-page criminal complaint against Jared Lee Loughner, 22, outlines five counts: the attempted assassination of Giffords; the killing of Giffords's director of community outreach, Gabriel Zimmerman; the killing of federal Judge John Roll; and the attempted killing of her staffers Pamela Simon and Ron BarberRonald (Ron) Sylvester BarberKavanaugh nomination a make or break moment to repeal Citizens United Latina Leaders to Watch 2018 Principles and actions mean more than Jeff Flake’s words MORE as all performed their official duties as federal employees.

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The complaint against Loughner doesn't include charges related to the shooting victims who weren't federal employees. Arizona officials will be filing their own charges against the suspect.

It does, however, reveal new details about the rampage that left six dead and injured 14 people, including Giffords, who remains in a medically induced coma at the University Medical Center in Tucson after being shot in the head Saturday.

Roll's presence at the event wasn't random, according to the complaint. The judge, who stopped by after attending daily Mass, was notified of the event by phone and attended in order to speak with Giffords and her staff about the volume of federal cases in his Arizona district.

Roll was seen in security-camera footage talking for several minutes with Barber, Giffords's district director, before both men were shot by the gunman.

The complaint also confirms that Loughner attended an August 2007 "Congress on Your Corner" event. He received a letter from Giffords on congressional stationery thanking him for attending, which was seized from a safe in his home. An envelope covered with the words, "I planned ahead," "My assassination" "Giffords" and what appeared to be Loughner's signature was also recovered.

FBI Director Robert Mueller, who is in Arizona at the direction of President Obama to oversee the investigation, told reporters earlier that Loughner attended a similar event hosted by Giffords in 2007, and that staffers invited him to attend this one. 

Loughner is due in court Monday at 2 p.m. local time, where dates will be set for a preliminary hearing and a detention hearing, according to the Justice Department.

A grand jury will reivew the evidence and issue an indictment within 30 days of Loughner's initial court appearance. The U.S. Attorney's Office is busy drafting an indictment to present to the grand jury.

Meanwhile, those wounded are fighting to recover, with Giffords being the most gravely injured.

Doctors at University Medical Center told reporters Sunday that the congresswoman is the last of the shooting victims who survived Saturday's attack to still be in the intenstive care unit, though three victims are still listed in serious condition.

Giffords underwent a routine brain scan on Sunday morning and responded to simple verbal commands, doctors said. She was unable to speak. The bullet went through the left side of her brain from front to back, and after the initial surgery to control bleeding doctors were watching to make sure brain swelling doesn't worsen.

Still, a day after Giffords was shot her progress was called "a very good situation" and surgeons said they are "cautiously optimistic."

Her husband, astronaut Mark Kelly, remains by her side.

The shooting happened as Giffords was speaking at her first "Congress on Your Corner" event of the year at the Safeway in northwest Tucson.

"My 1st Congress on Your Corner starts now. Please stop by to let me know what is on your mind or tweet me later," Giffords tweeted just before the attack.

Pima County Sheriff Clarence Dupnik said that a gunman waited in line to approach Giffords, 40, as she was talking to constituents, then shot her from about two feet away. He continued firing into the crowd, but when he went to reload, a woman, who had been shot, tore the clip away. The gunman was able to load another 31-round magazine into the pistol, but the spring failed and he was unable to continue firing, according to the sheriff. He was then tackled by two men and subdued until law enforcement arrived.

The Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco and Firearms (ATF) determined that Loughner purchased the 9 mm Glock pistol authorities believe was used in the attack on Nov. 30, 2010, from a store in Tucson.

A 20-year-old intern on Giffords's staff, Daniel Hernandez, pressed his hand over the congresswoman's bleeding and kept her upright, then stayed with her on the ride to the hospital.

"The congresswoman was alert and conscious," Hernandez said Sunday on ABC's "This Week." "She was able to hold my hand when I asked her if she could hear me. I wasn't able to get any words from her. She may have been trying, but because of the way that I was having to hold her, it was a lot easier just to, 'If you can hear me, Gabby, just grab my hand to let me know that you're OK.' "

Hernandez, who applied his first-aid knowledge to the crisis, had begun the internship just five days before.

House Speaker John BoehnerJohn Andrew BoehnerRift widens between business groups and House GOP Juan Williams: Pelosi shows her power Debt ceiling games endanger US fiscal credibility — again MORE (R-Ohio) said Sunday morning that flags on the House side of the Capitol will be flown at half-staff in honor of Zimmerman, 30, who was engaged to be married.

Simon and Barber were hospitalized but are expected to recover from their injuries.

A "person of interest" was sought in the case, raising the specter of a possible second supect, but it was revealed Sunday after officials released a surveillance still of the man that he was just the cab driver who had driven the suspect to the scene.

Loughner had only one "very minor" run-in with law enforcement in Pima County, according to sheriff's deputy Rich Kastigar, who briefed reporters.

Mueller said it was "early to speculate" on the shooter's motives

Giffords was the intended target of the attack, according to Dupnik. A Department of Homeland Security memo reported by Fox News on Sunday morning indicated that Loughner may be "possibly linked" to an anti-Semitic group; Giffords was the first Jewish congresswoman to serve in Arizona.

According to the Arizona Republic, Roll, 63, was placed under protective security by the U.S. Marshals Service for about a month in 2009 after he received threats following a ruling in an immigration-related lawsuit. Roll was nominated to the court by former President George H.W. Bush in 1991 at the recommendation of Sen. John McCainJohn Sidney McCainMeghan McCain to Trump: 'Thanks for the publicity' Grant Woods, longtime friend of McCain and former Arizona AG, dies at 67 Will Trump choose megalomania over country? MORE (R-Ariz.).

Roll is the first federal judge to be killed since 1989.

Of the six dead, five were declared deceased at the scene. A 9-year-old girl who was shot in the chest, Christina-Taylor Green, was pronounced dead at the hospital. Green, who was born on Sept. 11, 2001, had just been elected to her student council and went to the event at the suggestion of a neighbor to see the political system at work.

Also killed were Church of Christ Pastor Dorwan Stoddard, 76; Dorothy Morris, 76; and Phyllis Schneck, 79.

Obama called the shooting an "unspeakable tragedy" in a statement Saturday.

"We do not yet have all the answers," Obama said. "What we do know is that such a senseless and terrible act of violence has no place in a free society. I ask all Americans to join me and [first lady] Michelle in keeping Representative Giffords, the victims of this tragedy, and their families in our prayers."

Giffords was elected to a third term in November, defeating Tea Party-backed Republican Jesse Kelly in an intense campaign.

Lawmakers expressed shock and horror at the attack that occurred in the course of standard district work.


Capitol Police sent an e-mail to congressional members and staffers Saturday advising them "to take reasonable and prudent precautions regarding their personal security."

Mueller said Sunday, though, that there is "no information at this time to suggest that any specific threat remains."

“I am horrified by the senseless attack on Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords and members of her staff," BoehnerJohn Andrew BoehnerRift widens between business groups and House GOP Juan Williams: Pelosi shows her power Debt ceiling games endanger US fiscal credibility — again MORE said in a statement Saturday. "An attack on one who serves is an attack on all who serve. Acts and threats of violence against public officials have no place in our society. Our prayers are with Congresswoman Giffords, her staff, all who were injured, and their families. This is a sad day for our country."

Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) called the attack a "national tragedy."

"Congresswoman Giffords is a brilliant and courageous Member of Congress, bringing to Washington the views of a new generation of national leaders," she said in a statement. "It is especially tragic that she was attacked as she was meeting with her constituents whom she serves with such dedication and distinction."

Tea Party Nation founder Judson Phillips condemned the attack on Giffords, but warned supporters that the Tea Party movement would be blamed by political opponents.

"While we need to take a moment to extend our sympathies to the families of those who died, we cannot allow the hard left to do what it tried to do in 1995 after the Oklahoma City bombing," he said.

Giffords represents a district that shares a border with Mexico.

The fiscally conservative Blue Dog Democrat is pro-gun rights and has worked to get more National Guard troops and Border Patrol agents on the border.

In August, Giffords called on the Senate to interrupt its summer recess to pass a bill that approves another $600 million for border security.

"Securing our border and improving safety in our border communities requires us to set aside our differences and work together," she wrote in October on The Hill's Congress Blog.

Giffords had experienced threats before, including her office being vandalized after the spring healthcare vote last year.

At a "Congress on Your Corner" event outside a Safeway in Douglas, Ariz., in August 2009 during the heated summer of town-hall meetings, Giffords's aides called police after one attendee dropped a gun.

"We have never felt the need before to notify law enforcement when we hold these events," spokesman C.J. Karamargin told Arizona media at the time.

Giffords's office promoted on Friday evening the "Congress on Your Corner" event as an opportunity for 8th District residents to "meet their congresswoman one-on-one and discuss with her any issue, concern or problem involving the federal government."

Previous events have drawn between 75 and 150 people, her office said.

Members of the Arizona delegation reacted with shock.

“Today our thoughts and prayers are with Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords, her family, her staff, and those injured in this horrible tragedy," Rep. Paul GosarPaul Anthony GosarThree key behind-the-scenes figures in Jan. 6 probe GOP's embrace of Trump's false claims creates new perils Domestic extremists return to the Capitol MORE (R-Ariz.) and his wife said in a statement. "Gabrielle is a selfless public servant and we are all praying for her."

“Joyce and I are joining hands in heartfelt prayers for Rep. Giffords and all the other victims of this tragedy," Rep. David SchweikertDavid SchweikertLawmakers spend more on personal security in wake of insurrection We must address the declining rate of startup business launches Shakespeare gets a congressional hearing in this year's 'Will on the Hill' MORE (R-Ariz.) said in a statement. "It is unconscionable and while we are still awaiting all the details, we urge all Arizonans and Americans to pray for the victims of this terrible tragedy.”

Rep. Trent FranksHarold (Trent) Trent FranksOn The Trail: Arizona is microcosm of battle for the GOP Arizona New Members 2019 Cook shifts 8 House races toward Dems MORE (R-Ariz.) told MSNBC that "there is no way you can put a rational analysis" on the shooting.

"To try and analyze it politically seems even further beyond the pale," he said.

Gov. Jan Brewer (R) ordered flags to be flown at half-staff in remembrance of those killed.


—Molly K. Hooper and Russell Berman contributed to this report

This story has been continually updated from the breaking news version posted Saturday afternoon.