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Tucson remembers January 8th mass shooting

Six killed, thirteen wounded
Posted at 7:18 AM, Jan 08, 2019
and last updated 2019-01-16 07:36:06-05

TUCSON, Ariz. - Eight years ago --- a madman with a gun killed six people, wounded thirteen and changed Tucson.

Tuesday Tucsonans remembered the day many can not forget.

Mayor Jonathan Rothschild rang the bell at Tucson Fire Headquarters---Nineteen rings in all for the nineteen victims killed or wounded when a madman attacked an open air meeting where then Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords was meeting with the public.

Those killed were 9-year-old Christina-Taylor Green, 30-year-old Gabriel "Gabe" Zimmerman, 63-year-old Judge John Roll, 76-year-old Dorothy "Dot" Morris, 76-year-old Dorwan Stoddard and 79-year-od Phyllis Schneck. Among those hurt was then-Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords.

Ron Barber was wounded that day. He was Gifford’s district director, then succeeded her in Congress when she was too badly hurt to serve.

Now he has hope January 8th and the terrible toll of gun violence will help pass a new bill for stronger background checks before someone can purchase a gun.

Barber says, “You know what happened in 2018 at the election was literally scores of new members of the House and hopefully some of the Senate were elected with the promise they were gonna finally do something about gun violence in our country and this step that I mentioned about the background check bill is the first important step in that direction."

Jim Tucker and his wife were standing next to Giffords when the shooting began. His wife escaped injury but he still feels the effects of three bullets.

He thinks some new laws may help but cites abortion and euthanasia as examples how he thinks our culture has lost a general respect for life.

"They don't have constructive ways to express their disagreement and things are elevated to the point where there's violence."

January 8th survivors expect a new memorial to be ready in time for next year's observance to look back and what happened but also reflect on ways to move forward.

Ross Zimmerman lost his son Gabe on January 8th. He hopes the memorial site will be more than a place to merely look back--that it could inspire us to a less violent society.

"And if we do the memorial properly, and I hope we have, it'll be a place for reflection that hopefully will teach some lessons that five years from now, 15 years from now, hundred years from now will be useful for people in their daily lives."