Charges over attempted assassination of Rep. Gabrielle Giffords

A 22-year-old man has been indicted in federal court for the attempted assassination of Rep. Gabrielle Giffords (D-Arizona), who remains in critical condition at an Arizona hospital.

Giffords was shot in the head with an automatic rifle at a Congressional event in her district on Saturday. Six others were killed, including U.S. District Court Judge John M. Roll, a 9-year-old girl and a Congressional staffer. Fourteen others were wounded, including two federal employees.

Giffords represents Arizona's 8th Congressional district, where Native Americans make up about 2.1 percent of the population. During the 111th Congress, she was a co-sponsor of the White Mountain Apache Tribe water rights bill and the reauthorization of the Special Diabetes Program for Indians, both of which became law last year.

“It is with profound sadness that the Navajo Nation learned of the senseless shootings of Arizona Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords, U.S. District Court Judge John Roll, and members of Ms. Giffords’ staff in Tucson this morning. The deaths of Judge Roll, Ms. Giffords’ staff member and a child leave us without words that would heal the mind and heart at this time," Navajo Nation President Joe Shirley Jr. said in a statement. "The intentional injury of beloved family, friends and leaders leave us full of pain and distress. The prayers of all Navajo people are with Congresswoman Giffords, her husband Mark Kelly, their two children, and the families of all of the victims. Our deepest condolences are expressed to the families of Judge Roll and the other victims."

“I send my prayers to the family of U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, as well as my condolences to the families of her staff aides and the innocent bystanders that lost their lives,” Navajo Nation Council Speaker Lawrence T. Morgan said in a statement. “I am shocked and horrified. This incident affects all lawmakers on many levels because senseless incidents can happen any given time, including on the Navajo Nation.”

“We appreciate all the efforts of Congresswoman Giffords who has advocated for the Navajo Nation on various issues,” added Morgan. “On behalf of the Navajo Nation Legislative Branch and 21st Navajo Nation Council, we send our prayers.”

Roll, 63, was serving as chief judge of the Arizona District Court at the time of his death. His cases included one for the Pascua Yaqui Tribe, Turtle Talk reported. He also oversaw numerous Indian Country crime cases.

The alleged shooter is Jared Loughner, who is charged with two counts of murder and three counts of attempted murder.

Get the Story:
Gabrielle Giffords battles for her life; shooting casts grim light on U.S. political discord (The Washington Post 1/10)
U.S. sees evidence of assassination plot (The Washington Post 1/10)
Federal Charges Cite Assassination Plan (The New York TTimes 1/10)

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