Man arrested for shooting rampage in Arizona arraigned on federal charges

For many what happened in front of the Safeway in Arizona on Saturday is just sinking in. It has made us all think about our safety and now, Monday night, the story is about the man who did it, his first appearance in court and remembering the victims.

The week began with flowers, thousands of them in piles outside the hospital in Tucson, Arizona where people are coming to remember the victims and pray for the survivors including Congresswoman Gabby Giffords.

Monday morning President Obama and first lady Michelle Obama called for a nationwide moment of silence. It was 8am in San Diego when our residents and Congress alike participated in the somber moment which was broken by the cautiously good news from doctors in Tucson.

There are still nine victims hospitalized and all of those injured are now out of intensive care. Only one remains in critical condition, Congresswoman Giffords.

The cat scans show no major swelling on the brain and she's still responding by holding up two fingers and giving a thumbs up.

The surgeon who is treating Congresswoman Giffords is Dr. Peter Rhee of University Medical Center. He spoke with KUSI's Dan Plante on the phone during Good Morning San Diego where he commented on the Congresswoman's status “when someone follows simple commands it could be showing us their thumb, perhaps two fingers, gripping a hand, wiggling toes. All of those are simple commands that she can do even though for example, she has a breathing tube in place that would preclude more complex communication.”

While doctors are putting bodies back together the FBI, police and prosecutors are putting the case together. Trying to understand why 19-year-old Jarod Loughner exploded in violence on Saturday.

Some of those who knew him say they are not surprised. Loughner had been turned down by the military because he failed a drug test and his former math teacher told a CNN reporter, “Jared was a pretty quiet person. He just had this bright, red face, you know, like he was shaking and kind of seemed like he was under the influence of drugs.”

Loughner was shackled and driven to a Federal courtroom in Phoenix Monday afternoon where he heard the charges against him– murder and attempted murder of a member of Congress.
Loughner responded to the judge saying he understands the charges against him.
And then there are the heroes. The ones who reacted on Saturday to grab Loughner preventing him from shooting more. And of course Daniel Hernandez, an intern for the Congresswoman who used his bare hands to try to stop the bleeding and would not leave the Congresswoman's side.

“People have been referring to me as a hero. I don't think that's something that I am. I think the people who are heroes are people like Gabby who are public servants and who have dedicated their lives to public service. It just makes me happy to know that I could help her in any way that I could,” Hernandez said in a statement.

The doctors at the hospital can't give us all the specific details but others who have treated these kinds of wounds are speculating that the congresswoman's skull absorbed most of the bullets impact minimizing damage to the actual brain. 

Categories: KUSI