JOINT MEDIA RELEASE: Tucson Shooting January 8, 2011

JOINT MEDIA RELEASE

The Amancio Project

www.TheAmancioProject.org

Back to the Basics Please

www.bttbp.org

PFLAG Yuma

www.pflagarizona.org/yuma

Yuma County Gay Rights Meetup

www.Meetup.com/yumacountygayrights

January 9, 2011

A Sad Pall is Caste over Arizona and the Country in the Aftermath of Assassination Attempt of GLBT Advocate in Tucson

Yuma, AZ – We are shocked and saddened by the events of Saturday, January 8, 2011,  involving Arizona US Congresswoman, Gabby Giffords and our hearts go out to her and the other victims of this dreadful tragedy. Giffords is a champion for LGBTQ equality and a principled leader for Arizona. Our thoughts and prayers are with her family as well as with the families of all of those touched by this horrific violence.

Saturday evening The Amancio Project, Back to the Basics Please, PFLAG Yuma and Yuma County Gay Rights called for a moment of silence at the beginning of monthly “Movie Night” supporting Yuma’s GLBTQ youth, adult chaperones and concerned parents. After the film, “The Kids Are All Right,” the shooting was discussed to alive any apprehension the youth may experience and help keep this unmanageable violence in perspective. Candlelight vigils were held in both Tucson and Phoenix. . Rep. Giffords remains in critical condition.

A shaken President Barack Obama called the attack “a tragedy for our entire country.”

The suspect, 22-year-old Jared Lee Loughner is currently in custody. The event was the first leg of Giffords’ “Congress on Your Corner” event of the year. She was talking to a couple when the gunman approached, and then shot her. The suspect ran off, but was tackled by bystanders.

Loughner opened fire using a 9mm Glock handgun with an extended clip as Rep. Giffords met with constituents outside a grocery store leaving many questioning whether divisive politics had driven the attack. Pima County Sheriff Clarence Dupnik pointed to the vitriolic political rhetoric that has consumed the country as he denounced the shooting.

30 bullets were recovered at the scene. Lougner had another magazine that held about 30 bullets and two that held about 15 bullets each, and he also had a knife.

Federal charges against Loughner are expected to be filed later this afternoon, according to FBI Director Robert Mueller, and are likely to include the murder of U.S. District Judge John Roll and assault of Giffords and the other victims.

The Pima County Sheriff’s office listed the dead as:

• John M. Roll, 63, a federal district court judge.

• Gabriel Zimmerman, 30, Giffords’ director of community outreach.

• Dorwin Stoddard, 76, a pastor at Mountain Avenue Church of Christ.

• Christina-Taylor Green, 9, a student at Mesa Verde Elementary.

• Dorthy Murray, 76.

• Phyllis Schneck, 79.

Others injured but expected to be all right are staffer Pam Simon and deputy director Ron Barber. A total of nineteen people were shot.

In addition to the six deaths, 13 people were wounded in the melee.

Investigators said they were looking for an accomplice, believed to be in his 50s, who may have assisted in the attack.

One has to pause and wonder what in this young murder’s background drove him to such rage. Hate is learned; we are not born hating.  It is incumbent upon all of us to set an example guided by compassion and understanding.

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Michael H. Baughman
The Amancio Project 10572 S. Emerald Avenue
Yuma, AZ 85365-7161
Phone: 928-246-4856   “You can’t get a speeding ticket if you don’t speed.” – My Dad

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