Arizona | Crime | Gabrielle Giffords | Sarah Palin | Tea Party

Police Searching For Person Of Interest in Tuscon Shooting

Tuscon Tuscon shooter Jared Lee Loughner may not have acted alone in yesterday's tragic shooting that killed six people and left 14 others, including Democratic Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords, injured. Police are now searching for a "person of interest" who they believe might be linked to Loughner. The man, seen above, is described as a white, middle-aged man with dark hair.

Update: "Jared Loughner is charged with one count of attempted assassination of member of Congress, two counts of killing an employee of the federal government and two counts of attempting to killing a federal employee."

Update 2: Pima County Sheriffs have said that the person of interest was Loughner's cab driver who entered the Safeway to get change and was not an accomplice.

There are now reports that a Department of Homeland Security memo claims investigators are looking into whether Loughner is associated with the extremist, anti-government group American Renaissance.

Politico reports:

The group promotes views that are “anti-government, anti-immigration, anti -ZOG (Zionist Occupational Government), anti-Semitic,” the DHS memo says. It’s not immediately clear that Loughner was actually a member.

Arizona Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, the target of Loughner’s firing frenzy, is “the first Jewish female elected to such a high position in the US government. She was also opposite this group’s ideology when it came to immigration debate,” according the DHS memo. The group’s website features what appear to be paid advertisements for tea party versions of the “don’t tread on me” flag.

Giffords, who police believe was the primary target, remains heavily sedated after undergoing two hours of surgery yesterday. President Obama spoke to her husband, NASA astronaut Mark Kelly, last night.

C The AP describes yesterday's chaotic scene: "'He was not more than three or four feet from the congresswoman and the district director,' Kimble said, describing the scene as 'just complete chaos, people screaming, crying.' Pima County Sheriff Clarence Dupnik said the rampage ended only after two people tackled the gunman. 'He was definitely on a mission,' said Villec, a former Giffords intern."

The youngest victim, 9-year-old Christina Taylor Green, attended yesterday's public event with a enighbor. She had just been elected to the student council at her elementary school. US Federal Judge John Roll, who was also killed in the shooting, had stopped by to visit his friend Giffords.

Not surprisingly, the sick and twisted Westboro Baptist Church has already announced they will picket the funerals of the dead.

An aide from Sarah Palin is now attempting to back-pedal by making the ridiculous claim that the cross-hairs on her target map, are not what they appear to be: "'We never ever, ever intended it to be gun sights. It was simply cross-hairs like you'd see on maps,' said Rebecca Mansour on the Tammy Bruce radio show. Moreover, there was 'nothing irresponsible' about the image, and to draw a line connecting Palin and Saturday's shooting is 'obscene' and 'appalling.'"

Watch a KVOA report featuring interviews with some of Loughner's former high school and college classmates, AFTER THE JUMP.

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  1. Let us pray in the name of their lord then that Westboro gets beaten to death in the name of martyrdom.

    Trust me, no one will care except those from their own group and everyone else will say they had it coming.

    Posted by: Nanny McBone | Jan 9, 2011 12:07:50 PM

  2. Everything Sarah Palin says is inflammatory and destructive to our society. When did we stop valuing intelligence and start celebrating idiots?

    Posted by: Brent Z | Jan 9, 2011 12:25:23 PM

  3. Palin spokesperson Rebecca Mansour is an idiot if she thinks most of us believe those were NOT meant to be weaponry cross-hairs on Palin's 2010 "target map" of Democractic reps she wanted to see gone from the US House. I've NEVER seen any markings like those on any type of map (except hers) and, in my long life, I've looked at a lot of maps. Now that Palin's "target map" has been called for what it is, this is but another typical wingnut bullshit denial that won't be accepted.

    Posted by: HadenoughBS | Jan 9, 2011 12:26:03 PM

  4. A brief note on the beautiful young Miss Green: she was the granddaughter of Dallas Green, former Phillies pitcher and manager.

    She was also born on September 11th, 2001.

    My condolences to her family in particular, to lose their little child in such a horrendous act.

    Posted by: naughtylola | Jan 9, 2011 12:29:52 PM

  5. Giffords is Jewish? All day yesterday people kept commenting on her recent trip to Rome and how happy she was to attend midnight mass at the Vatican with her mother. In fact, Dana Bash on CNN was recalling her last conversation with her was about her attending mass. Is she just a really ecumenical person? That's really cool and shows again, in our polarizing society where you have to pick one side or the other (especially in religion in politics) more and more, what a valuable voice this woman was in our Congress...a shrinking breed. She has my prayers and best wishes for not only a recovery, but a recovery that allows her to bring her brand of moderate, true representative public service to the U.S. Congress for as long as she desires to do so.

    Posted by: breckroy | Jan 9, 2011 12:34:19 PM

  6. cross-hairs+target practice = retreat & pathetic that they don't think "common sense" people can connect the lines...well Palin now has "human" blood on her hands...way to go Caribou Barbie!!

    Posted by: ceebee | Jan 9, 2011 12:36:56 PM

  7. Sarah Palin is finished as a political leader. There is no amount of back-tracking and double talk and reinventing of history that can change the reprehensible bulleyes she found so amusing.

    It may take a while, but one inevitable result of yesterday is that this piece of human filth from Alaska will be consigned to the scrap heap of political scum, never to rise again.

    Posted by: justiceontherocks | Jan 9, 2011 12:42:14 PM

  8. @Brent, the election of Reagan seemed to herald a new age of celebrating the idiot in all of us, specifically and purposefully driving a wedge between people with college degrees and people without them. He broke the long tradition of Southern Democrats by celebrating the common man -- not a bad thing to do, to be sure, but he (and subsequent Republican politicians) did it by pointing at the educated and calling them the enemy. It was an easy thing to do, given people's fairly desperate economic situation, coming off the recession. Fear makes people easy to manipulate. To be honest, I don't think the Democrats and liberals in general have done themselves any favors in trying to win back those minds; we definitely skew towards smug know-it-allness, and wind up further alienating the already-alienated.

    You can probably map the devolution of American discourse through the 70s, but the 80s really stuck a fork in it. Its been quite a tumble from the days of the Kennedys, MLK, and Malcom speaking intelligently and thoughtfully about a and complicated world.

    Posted by: naughtylola | Jan 9, 2011 12:48:05 PM

  9. Considering the shooter's position on returning to the gold standard, the fact that the ad before the video is about how to pawn your gold is...weird.

    I don't see how Palin's camp can credibly make this claim. Instead, they should be saying, "Of COURSE we never asked anyone to commit violence and we are so against this horrible act!" etc. Not, "Those crosshairs aren't crosshairs."

    Posted by: Matthew Rettenmund | Jan 9, 2011 12:55:21 PM

  10. Tom Tomorrow at This Modern World provides a informative link detailing the violent rhetoric and political violence over the past two years.

    Posted by: Lazlo | Jan 9, 2011 1:23:03 PM

  11. In the map sarahPAC put out with the gun sights over their target district the reps that were retiring were given red sights instead of gray. What did you think you were alluding to?

    Posted by: Travis | Jan 9, 2011 2:04:54 PM

  12. Hmmm... If there's nothing wrong with the cross-hairs Mrs. Palin, then why is your site down? Why not put it back up?

    And HadenoughBS, I agree; I've never, ever seen a map with cross-hairs on them in my life.

    Posted by: Morgan | Jan 9, 2011 2:08:12 PM

  13. @Brent

    A bar was lowered in 1952 when Adlai Stevenson was labeled an "egghead" by his republican opponent.

    Posted by: sjs | Jan 9, 2011 2:10:21 PM

  14. the only thing that is obscene and appalling is sarah palin and her back pedaling. she ought to be arrested for inciting violence. it will be interesting to hear the hate mongers like rush on monday denying that they incite this kind of violence.

    Posted by: lk | Jan 9, 2011 2:10:46 PM

  15. Oh, so they weren't rifle cross-hairs they were map cross-hairs, indicating the location of intended aerial bombardments.

    Well, that certainly clears that up.

    Posted by: BobN | Jan 9, 2011 2:13:24 PM

  16. Palin: Don’t Retreat, Instead – RELOAD!
    Angle: Second Amendment remedies

    Yeah, right. Their rhetoric had nothing to do with this tragedy.

    They have no problem spouting the incendiary rhetoric to get elected, but refuse to acknowledge and accept responsibility when a mentally unstable half-wit follows through on their ideas. They are just as guilty as the guy who pulled the trigger, and should ultimately be held responsible.

    Posted by: Rich | Jan 9, 2011 2:40:59 PM

  17. As always, the true victim here is Sarah Palin. And they weren't crosshairs. They were baby crosses circled with love and blessings asking baby Jesus to intervene and show these liberal baby killers the evil of their ways.

    Posted by: B | Jan 9, 2011 3:00:10 PM

  18. AIDS killed most of my friends in the 80's and 90's. I'm one of the "lucky" ones who survived. I lay in bed every night praying that God will take me, in exchange for an innocent life lost to violence. He hasn't taken me up on my offer yet, and I spend another day here in this hate-filled world.

    Posted by: Dave | Jan 9, 2011 3:04:39 PM

  19. if not directly responsible for the shooting the cross hairs and angle 2nd amendment comments tend to draw out the loonies. these people should be held responsible for the results. it is really frightening when see the quality of the candidates of the tea party. the likes of palin angle bachmann and odonnell. if that is the future of the repuks
    time to form a new party. goprourd and lcr better rethink their priorities.

    Posted by: walter | Jan 9, 2011 3:08:51 PM

  20. This man in the picture has been cleared by police. He had nothing to do with shooting.

    The shooter is obviously mentally ill, probably paranoid schizophrenic, which kicks in right at his present age. The real story is why wasn't he receiving proper mental health care? Probably because most insurers are cutting way back in mental health payments, and the government(s) are also cutting way back on mental heath issues and care, including out-patient care. Expect to see more of this type of stuff happening.

    Posted by: ratbastard | Jan 9, 2011 4:41:42 PM

  21. And the shooter 'Politics' [if you could call it that] are all over the map. I've read his online writings, seen his various web pages and videos. IMO he holds mostly leftwing and libertarian views, but is obviously very mentally disturbed.

    Posted by: ratbastard | Jan 9, 2011 4:45:02 PM

  22. Politico: Arizona Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, the target of Loughner’s firing frenzy, is “the first Jewish female elected to such a high position in the US government."

    She had just been elected to her third term. Debbie Wasserman-Shultz is Jewish and has been a US rep from Florida longer than that. And what about Diane Feinstein and Barbara Boxer--both Jewish, and both long-serving senators from California?

    I can't believe Politico would make such a stupid and easily corrected error, unless they meant to tack on "...from Arizona" to the end of that sentence.

    Posted by: Scotty | Jan 9, 2011 6:51:35 PM

  23. And the Daily Kos ran a piece by an alleged Gifford constituent who vilified her for not being liberal enough and voting against Pelosi, etc., He/she actually ended it with saying, for them, Gifford is 'Dead'. This was in Dec, 2010.

    Posted by: ratbastard | Jan 9, 2011 10:18:49 PM

  24. It probably won't matter what the killer is charged with because his attorney will almost certainly go for an insanity defense. Not sure if it is still allowed in AZ. If not, the case could go on for years in court with various appeals. Under federal law he would need to prove BARD insanity.

    SP's high negatives already made her an unlikely candidate in 2012 anyway. However, this story won't have legs past this summer at best.

    Posted by: anon | Jan 9, 2011 11:29:08 PM

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