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Fed Judge Killed and Congress Member Critically Wounded in Mass Shooting in Tucson; FBI Director Sent to Az

UPDATE: Sunday, 3 p.m. — FBI Director Robert S. Mueller III said at a press conference that he doesn’t believe a second person wanted for questioning is directly involved in the shooting.

“It was an attack not only against dedicated public servants but against citizens, one being a child,” Mueller said. “This was an attack on our institutions and an attack on our way of life.” CNN, citing sources, said the man has been interviewed and authorities have determined that he has nothing to do with this case.

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

Arizona’s Chief U.S. District Judge John Roll was killed and U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords (D-Az) was gravely wounded Saturday morning at a mass shooting outside a Tucson grocery store,  authorities said.

Initially it appeared to be the work of a lone gunman, but authorities later said they were actively pursuing a second person, according to CNN.

Attorney General Eric Holder Jr. said in a statement that “FBI Director (Robert)  Mueller is traveling to Arizona to help coordinate the investigation.”

Robert Mueller

“The FBI is working jointly with local law enforcement to investigate today’s events, and I have directed Department prosecutors and law enforcement officials to use every resource necessary to investigate this tragedy, ” Holder said. “I want to assure the people of Arizona and every American that we will hold accountable anyone responsible for these heinous acts.”

CNN reported that in all six  died and 12 were wounded when a gunman opened fire outside a grocery store where the Congress member was conducting a “Congress on Your Corner” neighborhood meeting. A 9-year-old girl died in the attack.

Media outlets identified the shooter as Jared Lee Loughner, 22. A 9mm Glock handgun was recovered at the scene, CNN reported, citing senior law enforcement sources. He was taken into custody.

CNN reported that Dr. Peter Rhee of University Medical Center in Tucson said Giffords had undergone surgery for a single gunshot to the head that passed through her brain. He said he expected her to recover. The Tea Party had targeted her for defeat in this past election, and she barely won.  Giffords opposed Arizona’s controversial immigration law and was an ally of the White House.

Judge Roll was appointed to the federal bench by President George H.W. Bush in 1991. He had served as chief judge in Arizona since 2006.

President Obama issued a statement saying: “We do not yet have all the answers. What we do know is that such a senseless and terrible act of violence has no place in a free society. I ask all Americans to join me and Michelle in keeping Representative Giffords, the victims of this tragedy, and their families in our prayers.”

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