Twenty four hours after the shooting of Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords we have learned many new details about the shooter and the victims.
22-year-old Jared Lee Loughner, spurred on by “Right Wing” radio and television talk show hosts; planned out the assassination of Representative Gabrielle Giffords. So says the Sheriff Clarence Dupnik in a late evening press conference on Saturday, January 8.
Sherri Dupnik stated that the “vitriolic” nature of Right-wing talk show hosts likely prompted Loughner to act and start planning the assassination of Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords.
Clint Van Zandt, MSNBC analyst, described Jared Lee Loughner, as fairly typical of a “lone gun man” who had planned out the attack well ahead of time. This was confirmed after a search of Loughner’s home where notes and plans showed he had been planning the attack for some time.
Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords was shot at point-blank range in the right hand side of her head. The bullet traveled “through and through” the left hemisphere of her brain but did not kill her. She was rushed by helicopter to Hospital where she went straight into emergency surgery by neurosurgeons.
According to a spokesperson and doctors at the Hospital, Representative Gabrielle Giffords was responsive before and after surgery on Saturday and continued to be responsive and able to respond to verbal questions and commands by squeezing the attending physician’s hand, on Sunday morning.
CNN’s resident Neurosurgeon, Dr. Sunjay Gupta, stated that the “through and through” shot that Congresswoman Giffords suffered may have been a blessing in disguise. The bullet traveled through her brain and exited her head and thus caused all the damage it was going to cause. Had the bullet lodged in Representative Gabrielle Giffords’ head; surgeons would have had to go through the process of removing the bullet. An operation of such nature could well have caused even more damage. For this reason the “through and through” nature of the shooting is being referred to as “lucky”.
Representative Gabrielle Giffords is the only victim, of the shooter, to still be in intensive care say Hospital spokesmen.
During the Saturday night press conference, Sheriff Clarence Dupnik informed reporters that there was a second “person of interest” that authorities wanted to talk to. Sheriff Dupnik would not identify the person being sought. The only information that he was willing to share was that the second person of interest was a male in, or around, his 50’s.
On Sunday, it was confirmed that authorities were interviewing the 50-something year-old man but no further arrests or charges have been filed as of this writing.
The repercussions of this tragedy are impossible to gauge at this point. With Sheriff Dupnik placing some of the blame on “Right wing” radio and television talk shows along with the planned and intended assassination nature of the crime it is simply too soon to look into our collective crystal balls.
The Republican leadership in the House of Representatives announced that there would be no votes to take place during the upcoming week, effectively giving Congressmen and Congresswomen the week off so that they can access their own safety and reflect on all the victims of Jared Lee Loughner. One of the victims, who regretfully passed away, was a nine year-old girl who was born on September 11 ( 9-11).
On Sunday, officials charged Jared Lee Loughner with 5 counts, attempted assasination of U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, her assistants Ron Barber, Pamela Simon, and of killing Federal Judge John Roll along with Giffords’ assistant Gabriel Zimmerman. Giffords and Roll were both federal employees performing their official duties.
According to the press release, Loughner will make his first court appearance Monday at 2pm before Magistrate Judge Lawrence Anderson.