Giffords still criticalPosted: Updated:
Gabrielle Giffords, the U.S. Representative from the 8th District of Arizona, remains in critical condition in an induced coma in University Medical Center in Tucson this morning. But doctors say she is responding to commands, something they call a very good sign.
She was shot, along with 19 others, during a constituent event at Ina and Oracle in northwest Tucson Saturday morning. Six people died from the shooting.
A 22-year old suspect, Jarod Loughner, is in federal custody this morning, and according to the Pima County Sheriff, is not being cooperative. Authorities say he used a Glock 9-millimeter pistol with an extended magazine in the attack. It was purchased in Tucson in November at a northwest side sporting goods store. The purchase was legal.
U.S. Attorney for Arizona, Dennis Burke, filed five counts of murder and attempted murder against Longher on Sunday afternoon. They dealt with the five federal officials killed or injured in the shooting. State charges on the additional injuries and deaths are likely. His initial hearing before a judge will be in Phoenix Monday afternoon.
Overnight, the sheriff's department released a security camera image of a man they identify as a "person of interest" in the case. But by Sunday afternoon, authorities say they had identified that person. He is a cab driver who dropped off Longher at the shooting site and they say he had nothing to do with the shooting.
Numerous eyewitness accounts say the "Congress on Your Corner" event was just starting when the incident happened. Giffords holds similar events on nearly every weekend she is in Tucson. It's an informal event where she sits at a table with a staff member and people line up and spend a few minutes chatting with her privately about their concerns or needs.
Eyewitnesses told Fox 11 News that Loughner tried to cut to the front of the line, but was told to go to the end of the line. He then ran straight up to Giffords and shot her point blank in the head. Doctors later said the bullet entered her skull and exited as well. It did not lodge in the brain. There were numerous reports she was talking at the scene and also in the emergency room at University Medical Center.
She underwent immediate surgery and doctors induced a coma. That's normal to work to control swelling of the brain. Dr. Peter Rhee, a UMC surgeon, says the surgery lasted two hours. He said the bullet appeared to enter the left side of her brain and go from front to back and exit the skull at the front.
The sheriff's department identifies the dead in the shooting as: Federal District Judge John Roll, 63. He was a close personal friend of the Congresswoman, had just attended mass at a church near the event and had dropped by just to say hello; Dorothy Morris, 76; Dorwin Stoddard, 76, who was with his wife at the event and she was shot and injured as well; Christina Greene, 9, the granddaughter of former Philadelphia Phillies manager Dallas Green and who had just been elected to the student council at her school and wanted to attend the event to learn more about government; Phyllis Scheck, 79; and Gabriel Zimmerman, 30, the Director of Outreach for Giffords. Zimmerman had worked for Giffords for three years and was engaged to be married. There are reports his fiance was also at the event.