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Hundreds of mourners fill funeral for Judge Roll


Nearly 1,700 mourners gathered to pay their respects Friday to U.S. District Court Judge John Roll, whose funeral was held at St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Catholic Church.

This was the second funeral in Tucson after last Saturday's deadly shooting spree that took six lives and left 13 others wounded.

About 24 hours earlier, the funeral for nine-year-old Christina-Taylor Green was held at the same church on North Shannon Road.

Roll and Green were killed in what authorities allege was an attack on Rep. Gabrielle Giffords.

Roll had simply stopped by the meet and great in the Safeway parking lot to speak with Giffords when he was shot, authorities say.

He had served nearly four decades and was the chief federal judge in Arizona.

The funeral began at 10 a.m. The entire property of the church was tightly secured by numerous local and federal law enforcement officers because of the number of dignitaries and Roll's colleagues from the bench expected. Former Vice President Dan Quayle attended.

Many people, turned away because the church was completely filled, instead lined North Shannon Road to await the end of the service.

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U.S. Marshalls carefully checked every person's ID before allowing them to enter the church parking lot.

Hundreds of cars overflowed from the lot and officers directed mourners to park alongside the main road, as well as side roads near the church.

Dozens of Roll's fellow judges arrived in many large coach buses.

According to the funeral program, three federal judges as well as family members were to give readings at the service. Roll's three sons were among the pallbearers. As people exited the church after the service, bagpipes played.

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Emily Jones/TucsonSentinel.com

Some of those gathered to remember Judge Roll lined the side of N. Shannon Rd. Some held red roses.