Tucson massacre: Arizona to mark 1st anniversary this weekend

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by Catherine Holland

Video report by Ryan O'Donnell

Posted on January 6, 2012 at 8:12 AM

Updated Friday, Jan 6 at 11:47 AM

TUCSON, Ariz. -- On Sunday, Tucson and the rest of Arizona will mark the first anniversary of the massacre in which six people were shot to death and 13 more, including Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords, were wounded.

Friday morning, 3TV's Ryan O'Donnell talked to Daniel Hernandez, the intern who was with Giffords when she was shot in the head and credited with helping save her life. Hernandez stayed with Giffords, holding her hand all the way to the hospital.

Several events are planned to honor those wounded in the Jan. 8, 2011 shooting. Giffords, who has been making an incredible recovery, and her husband, retired Navy captain and astronaut Mark Kelly, say they will attend a vigil at the University of Arizona.

"Congresswoman Giffords wanted to be back in Tucson for this very emotional weekend," Pia Carusone, Giffords' chief of staff, said in a statement. "She felt it was important to be in her hometown with her family, staff members and a few close friends."

Ron Barber, who was wounded in the mass shooting at the Congress of Your Corner event, is slated to speak at the event.

In addition to the U of A vigil, there will be a ring of church bells throughout the community on Sunday at 10:11 a.m., which is the exact time the shooting broke out.

Suspected shooter Jared Loughner, 23, has been the center of a variety of legal wranglings in the year since the massacre. He has pleaded not guilty to 49 charges.

The case was put on hold when Loughner was diagnosed with schizophrenia and found psychologically unfit to stand trial. Despite protests by his defense team, Loughner is being forcibly medicated in an effort to control his mental illness and render him fit for trial.

Mike Black, a former federal defender now in private practice, told Associated Press writer Jacques Billeaud that he does not expect to see a trial until 2013 at the earliest.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.
 

 
 

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