Rep. Gabrielle Giffords’ shooter has been revealed by authorities and, according to them, it is a man named Jared Lee Loughner. He was taken into custody at the scene and is now being held at Pima County Sheriff’s Office, the prime suspect in the killing of six and injuring of 18 at a Safeway grocery store. The 22-year-old suspect was tackled by people in the small crowd after the shooting. One pistol was recovered and contained “an extended clip.”
According to Tucson doctor Steven Rayle, an eyewitness to the shootings, the young man was wearing sneakers and navy blue sweats. He approached Giffords with a semi-automatic handgun raised. He shot her once in the face.After the congresswoman fell, people tried to flee but were trapped–hemmed in by the table and a concrete post. It was at that point that the gunman started firing into the crowd.
Rayle said: “It was so close, and sort of a tight thing there was nowhere easy to run. So most of the crowd got it. People that were there were just sitting ducks. I don’t think he was even aiming. He was just firing at whatever.”
After a few moments the shooter tried to flee but was tackled and subsequently apprehended. Loughner left a trail of Internet postings, expressing convoluted observations about government. Law enforcement authorities believe he is a military veteran.
Rep. Giffords is married to NASA astronaut Mark Kelly, who was training for a lunar mission at the time of the shooting. He immediately flew to Tuscon to be at the bedside of his critically injured wife.