Tucson shooting update: Gabe Zimmerman scholarship; Word from Giffords' rabbi

Posted: Updated:

TUCSON, Ariz. -- A judge has denied a request to prevent the release of autopsies of the victims in the January 8 shootings.

U.S. District Judge Larry Burns says there's no proof the medical examiner was ready to release the reports, but prosecutors can make the request again if their chances of a fair trial are questioned.

One of the victims in the January 8 shooting, Gabe Zimmerman, was a big part of the Arizona State School of Social Work.

To honor Zimmerman's hard work and commitment to the Tucson campus, a scholarship has been established in his name.

After Gabe Zimmerman died on January 8 along with five other people, Community Partnership of Southern Arizona president Neal Cash felt he had to do something.

He hit on the idea of a scholarship.

Fortuitously, while attending president Obama's speech in Tucson two months ago, the right man happened to sit in front of Cash.

"Who I was sitting behind at that event was Doctor Michael Crow.  I started talking to him about the scholarship and it took him about ten seconds to throw in his support," said Cash.

Doctor Crow is the president of Arizona State University.  Zimmerman received his master's degree in social work at the ASU social work school's Tucson campus.

Once the ball started rolling, CPSA donated $100,000 to the endowed scholarship to honor Zimmerman and others have followed.

"I received a call from Freeport McMoran Copper and Gold of Green Valley they have also agreed to pledge $10,000 to the fund," said CPSA President Neal Cash.

The fund is expected to help out a number of students working on degrees in social work in Tucson.

"This provides a good support for a student to help go through the program, it's large enough to be endowed.  It's going to be relatively permanent.  It's a wonderful legacy," said Gabe's father Ross Zimmerman.

The school is expect to reward its first scholarship recipient in the fall of this year.

You can donate to the Gabe Zimmerman fund here.

And there is new information on Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords recovery from a Houston Rabbi.

Rabbi David Lyon meets with her several times each week.

"Gabby is making the kind of progress that all of us would anticipate, whether it's words or emotions.  Well, she had a little chicken soup with matzo balls. I think that's fair to report, and as we know it is Jewish penicillin," said Rabbi Lyon. "Gabby likes to reach out and hold my hand and she listens carefully and smiles easily. Prayer for her is meaningful."

In the meantime, the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee names Giffords as one of the House Democrats most vulnerable in the 2012 elections.