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Woman reveals Jan. 8th shooter wanted her to 'be his witness'

Credits faith and power of forgiveness in moving forward
Posted: 8:43 AM, Jan 09, 2023
Updated: 2023-01-09 14:45:15-05

El Presidio Park was misidentified in an earlier version of this story.

Sunday marks the 12th anniversary of the January 8th shooting which took the lives of six people and left over a dozen injured, including former Congresswoman Gabby Giffords.

Jim and Doris Tucker were there at the time of the shooting.

“What could I have done to prevent it,” Jim asks himself on a regular basis since the shooting. “The first 18 months was the most challenging.”

The Tuckers were talking to then Congresswoman Giffords when Jared Laughner started firing shots.

"He rattled out 12 shots in the first four and a half seconds," Jim recalls. "Doris wondered why she was the only one not shot."

She finally learned why a year and a half after the shooting.

"The psychiatrist treating the shooter asked to speak to me," Doris revealed. "The shooter told her that he pushed me out of the way so that I would be his witness."

But in order to move forward, the Tuckers made a choice.

“We chose to forgive, we still wanted justice to be done,” they decided together.

Because surviving a mass shooting is a life-changing experience.

"Life is much more intentional," Jim points out. "I live with chronic pain each day."

Other times he feels the mental effects.

“I think it's also a daily reminder when I volunteer each week at the visitors center and I walk from El Presidio Park through the memorial to the courthouse,” Jim shares.

This serves as a reminder that he and his wife are in fact survivors.

"Everybody responds different to it, everyone processes it differently," Jim explained. "I did ask the U.S. attorney that was in prison to please make sure a Chaplin visits him regularly."

The two credit their faith in God and the power of forgiveness to move forward.

“He realized he did wrong. We were told that he did call his father and told him that he realized what he did where at the beginning he didn’t. So his mind is being healed. We’re thankful for that.”


Heidi Alagha is an anchor and reporter for KGUN 9. Heidi spent 5 years as the morning anchor in Waco where she was named the best anchor team by the Texas Associated Press. Share your story ideas and important issues with Heidi by emailing or by connecting on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.