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Photos: Memorial gathering marks 11 years since Jan. 8 Tucson attack

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Former U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords sits with her husband, Sen. Mark Kelly during a memorial to mark the 11th anniversary of the Jan. 8 shooting that left her wounded along 12 others, killing 6 others. - Paul Ingram/TucsonSentinel.com

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At 10:10 a.m. on Saturday morning, a Northwest firefighter rang a silver bell 19 times. Each peal of the bell marked one of those who were killed, and those wounded during the Jan. 8 shooting in Tucson 11 years ago. 

The remembrance ceremony took place at the Historic Pima County Courthouse, which is next to "Embrace," a memorial completed last year for the victims of the Jan. 8, 2011, assassination attempt on U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords that left six dead and 13 wounded. 

The event began with a speech from Crystal Kasnoff, the former director the Jan. 8 Memorial Foundation, who spoke along with Jan Lesher, the acting Pima County administrator, about the memorial and its construction. They were followed by Tucson Mayor Regina Romero, who pressed the need to end gun violence in the U.S., and former congressman Ron Barber, who spoke for a few brief moments and read a prose poem written by a friend. 

Before the event began, Giffords and Barber hugged and briefly compared their leg braces, both worn as a consequence of the attack 11 years ago. Then, for a moment, she fussed with his jacket, removing a spot of lint before smilingly warmly at him. 

Later, as Barber spoke, Giffords reached out to her husband, U.S. Senator Mark Kelly, and held his hand tightly. 

A top staffer for Giffords, Barber was shot twice at the 2011 constituent meet-and-greet when it was attacked by a schizophrenic gunman. Barber was later elected to take her place in Congress. He now works for U.S. Sen. Mark Kelly (Giffords' husband) and serves as the president of the January 8 Memorial Foundation.

Just before the bell-ringing remembrance, a prayer was offered by Rev. Joe Fitzgerald, chaplain of Banner University Medical Center, where many of the victims of the attack were treated.

Last year, organizers for the "Embrace" had hoped to hold a large-scale public event to open the memorial on the 10th anniversary of the attack, but COVID-19 derailed those plans. A year later, a few people walked along the crunchy gravel rock path into the public space, all wearing masks as required by the county. 

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For some this was a first chance to see the memorial, and both Barber and Kelly both took a moment to point out details in the design to others.

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Killed & wounded Jan. 8

Six were killed and 13 wounded in the Jan. 8 mass shooting.

Killed

  • Christina-Taylor Green, 9, a student at Mesa Verde Elementary
  • Dorothy Morris, 76, a retiree
  • Judge John Roll, 63, a U.S. District judge
  • Phyllis Schneck, 79, a retiree
  • Dorwin Stoddard, 76, a retiree
  • Gabe Zimmerman, 30, Giffords' director of community outreach

Wounded

  • Bill Badger
  • Ronald Barber
  • Kenneth Dorushka
  • James Fuller
  • Randy Gardner
  • Gabrielle Giffords
  • Susan Hileman
  • George Morris
  • Mary Reed
  • Pamela Simon
  • Mavanell Stoddard
  • James Tucker
  • Kenneth Veeder