Reports of return fire at Giffords shooter are false
No one returned fire at the suspect who shot 20, killing 6, at a constitutent meeet and greet held by Rep. Gabrielle Giffords on Saturday, authorities said.
A persistent Internet meme that a bystander or victim returned fire at the shooting suspect is making the rounds, accompanied by accusations of a coverup by the "liberal media."
"No one returned fire at the suspect," said Deputy Erin Gibson, a spokeswoman for the Pima County Sheriff's Department.
Many postings on Facebook and Twitter have claimed that someone fired back at the man who shot Giffords and 19 others, killing a federal judge and five others.
An erroneous report by Fox News, citing the website of the Arizona Republic, is linked by some of those claiming there was return fire.
The attack was halted when four people at the scene grabbed the gunman as he attempted to reload his semi-automatic pistol, authorities said.
Jared Lee Loughner, a 22-year-old Tucsonan who was expelled from Pima Community College last semester for his behavior, faces five federal charges in the incident. He is due in court Monday.
State charges are also likely, authorities say.