Memorial service for Gabe Zimmerman; UMC memorial continues to grow

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TUCSON, Ariz. -- Outside University Medical Center, a vigil honoring all the victims from the shooting continues to grow.

What started out as a few well wishes now takes up almost the entire front lawn of UMC.

The vigil grew in size, especially over the weekend.

More and more people come each day to look at it and read many of the cards and posters left behind.

And the memorial outside Giffords' office also continues to grow.

Folks stopped by on their day off to put up posters, leave stuffed animals and messages.

Memorial visitor Michelle Roosma says the outpouring of support doesn't surprise her.

A lot of people are also remembering the victims by visiting the Safeway on Ina and Oracle where the tragedy unfolded.

The grocery store re-opened its doors for business over the weekend, after a moment of silence on Saturday morning.

A lot of customers have been buying flowers and candles, then setting them down at the vigil as they leave the Safeway.

"So many families, so many people it has affected and we have to figure out a way to heal and I think this memorial is one way for that to happen," said a memorial visitor.

Safeway has set up a memorial fund for all of the victims and their families.

You can make a donation at any Safeway store in the state.

There was memorial Monday for Gabe Zimmerman. He was Gabrielle Giffords' Director of Community Outreach, killed during the tragic events on January 8.

On a day we celebrate the life of Doctor Martin Luther King, Junior.  Colleagues, friends and family gathered to remember another man who also believed in justice.

Gabriel Zimmerman spent most of his adult life encouraging others to serve their community.

"Gabe was, I was his intern at congresswoman Giffords office for a year, he was my mentor and he was a close friend of mine," said Zimmerman's friend Vincent Fricano. 

"Gabe is a great friend to the United Way but also a great friend to this community," said Tony Penn from United Way.

Zimmerman was serving the community January 8 during the congresswoman on the corner event.

Shots were fired at the Safeway and Zimmerman ran to try and help out.

"The important part about what happened mainly that he was coming back into the bullets and that he died quickly and painlessly," said Ross Zimmerman.

For many of Zimmerman's friends and co-workers, his actions during the tragic shooting are no surprise to them.

"No I'm not, that particular event, where he, sounds like he was actually a hero," said Penn. 

"He stayed true to himself to the very end that was the kind of person he was," said Fricano.

A son who made his father proud of his work and service.

"He was born with good inclinations, we encouraged those and he led his life that way," said Gabe's father, Ross Zimmerman.

A life that had the hundreds at the memorial with memories they will never forget.

"Because of Gabe, there are thousands of kids who are in high quality child care today here in this community, that he was relentlessly caring about other people," said Penn.

Gabe Zimmerman was just 30-years-old.

His family has set up a fund in his name at Child and Family Resources.