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'Person of interest' sought in Giffords shooting

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A second man has been cleared of any wrongdoing in the shooting of Rep. Giffords and up to 19 others, authorities said.

The man, who had been called a "person of interest" by Pima County Sheriff Clarence Dupnik on Saturday, was not an accomplice in the incident that claimed six lives, said Deputy Jason Ogan.

The man, a cab driver, took suspect Jared Lee Loughner to the Northwest Side grocery store where the shooting incident took place.

The two entered the store together so Loughner could get change to pay the fare, authorities said.

The man has not been identified.

Earlier report

Authorities released a photograph early Sunday of a man they said is "possibly associated" with the shooting of U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords and killing of six others.

Law enforcement is seeking a 40-50-year-old white male with dark hair, said Pima County Sheriff's Deputy Jason Ogan in a news release. He was last seen wearing blue jeans and a dark blue jacket, Ogan said.

Anyone who knows the man's identity is asked to contact 911, 88-CRIME or the FBI at 520-791-6974.

The man described as a "person of interest" may be an accomplice of the suspect who gunned down 19 at a Northwest Side grocery store during a meet and greet event held by Giffords, Pima County Sheriff Clarence Dupnik said at an evening news conference Saturday.

Investigators have reason to believe that the 22-year-old suspect had an accomplice, said Dupnik, who would not elaborate on the reason for that belief.

"We have photos of him," he said.

Dupnik said the possible accomplice may have driven the shooting suspect to the Safeway, 7110 N. Oracle Rd., where Giffords was holding a "Congress On Your Corner" to meet with constituents.

19 were shot in the incident, which took place around 10:10 a.m. Saturday. Six were killed.

Although authorities have not identified the alleged shooter, sources have named the gunman as Jared Lee Loughner, 22. The shooter, who used a semi-automatic pistol with an extended magazine, is in custody after being tackled by two witnesses at the scene.

The suspect was in FBI custody Saturday night, said Ogan.

The suspect, who was detained at the scene of the shooting that killed 6, was the subject of "some police interest in the recent past," Dupnick said. The sheriff indicated that the man had made death threats and "has kind of a troubled past."

"We have reason to believe the individual may have a mental issue," Dupnik said of the shooting suspect.

Giffords "was the target" of the shooting, Dupnik said.

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Latest comments on this storyRead all 4 »

4
172 comments
Jan 9, 2011, 11:34 am
-0 +0

Wake up, brush-up on history: Mein Kampf was written by Adolf Hitler, the ultra right-wing Nazi totalitarian.

3
76 comments
Jan 9, 2011, 9:37 am
-0 +0

Left wing, right wing or drumstick…the suspect is clearly unbalanced and susceptible to extreme rhetoric.
Let us learn to curb our tongues and fingers and tone down the blame and vitriol.
We are all in this boat together…even the crazy ones.  So, unless a sane person has a distinct intent for causing disruption, which is a truly evil intent, they should be judicious and thoughtful in the presentation of their opinions.

2
394 comments
Jan 9, 2011, 8:35 am
-0 +0

JoeDiaz1970,

That infomation is included in our report on the suspected shooter.

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Pima County Sheriff's Dep't

Anyone who knows this man's identity is asked to contact 911, 88-CRIME or the FBI at 520-791-6974. The man described as a "person of interest" may be an accomplice of the suspect who gunned down 19 at a Northwest Side grocery store during a meet and greet event held by Giffords, Pima County Sheriff Clarence Dupnik said at an evening news conference Saturday.

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