Ariz. Shooting Suspect Could Face Death Penalty

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The man accused of shooting Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, D-Ariz., and 19 others, faced court Monday and the chance of the federal death penalty because federal workers like Judge John Roll were among the six he killed.

Rather than a politically motivated vigilante, 22-year-old Jared Loughner appears to fit the profile of the crazed, obsessed lone gunman -- and in his case, an isolated, deluded, lonely gunman.

CBN News Reporter Chuck Holton talked more about the victims of Loughner's shooting spree on CBN News Channel Morning News, Jan. 10. Click here for his insights. 

"He was probably ostracized to a significant extent by other people, and that means he's not going to get this sort of regulation of everyday experiences," said Dr. Dennis Embry, a prevention scientist.

Loughner left notes in a safe pointing to an assassination attempt on Giffords, whom he'd talked to once in 2007.

"He asked her some question that made absolutely no sense to me, but he said 'I can't believe she doesn't understand it,'" said Caitlyn Ann Parker, an acquaintance of Loughner. "Politicians just don't get it."

See all of the CBN News reports on the Tucsan, Ariz., shooting here.

Loughner once proclaimed in a YouTube video, "No! I won't trust in God!" Also, one classmate once called him "left-wing" and a "pot head."

Some wondered if Giffords was targeted because she's Jewish -- with Adolf Hitler's "Mein Kampf" being on Loughner's favorite books list. This weekend, Giffords' home synagogue gathered to pray for her.

So far, Giffords is recovering well for one having had a bullet pass through her brain. But she now faces the danger of swelling as her brain tries to heal from the extreme trauma.

Community in Shock

Tucson, Ariz. residents are still reeling from the Saturday shootings. But there is gratitude as well for the heroes who stopped Loughner, likely saving numerous lives.

Joe Zamudio, 24, was shopping at a nearby store when he heard the sound of gunfire and ran to investigate. He along with several others pinned Loughner down before he could reload.

"Well, I think this is how we need to react," Zamudio said. "We're Americans and we need to not be afraid."

Still, the six deaths have left many mourning across Tucson, including the family of the shooter's youngest victim, nine-year-old Christina Taylor Green.

"She comes into the world on 9/11 and then, at nine years old she leaves it on this terrible day," John Green, Christina's father said.

The Victims

Dorwan Stoddard, a 76-year-old retired but avid and active worker at his church, also lost his life when he threw his body over his wife to protect her.

Giffords' community outreach coordinator, 30-year-old Gabe Zimmerman, was killed just weeks before he planned to marry. He served at local help groups when not working for Giffords.

"He was an old soul in a young man's body who was a real special treasure for Tucson," said Eric Schindler, president and CEO of Tucson Child and Family Services.

The oldest victim was 79-year-old Phyllis Schneck.

"She liked to do crafts, puzzles and she was one of the best cooks you'd ever want to find," B.J. Offutt, Schneck's daughter, said.

Meawwhile, public defenders are asking the attorney who defended Oklahoma City bombing conspirator Timothy McVeigh and "unabomber" Ted Kaczynski to defend Loughner.

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Paul  Strand

Paul Strand

CBN News Washington Sr. Correspondent

As senior correspondent in CBN's Washington, D.C., bureau, Paul Strand has covered a variety of political and social issues, with an emphasis on defense, justice, and Congress.  Follow Paul on Twitter @PaulStrandCBN and "like" him at Facebook.com/PaulStrandCBN.