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U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords and her husband Mark Kelly bow their heads as they light a candle during a memorial vigil remembering the victims and survivors of the shooting that wounded Giffords, 12 others and killed six one year ago Sunday, Jan. 8, 2012, in Tucson, Ariz. (AP Photo/The Arizona Republic, Rob Schumacher)
The suspect in the shooting of Rep. Gabrielle Giffords smiled and nodded but didn't speak as he appeared in court Monday and his lawyer provided the 22-year-old's first response to the charges: a plea of not guilty.
JOHN ROLL, 63:
Charles Johnson, a history teacher at Chandler's Basha High School talks to his students about the shootings in Tucson that killed six people and injured several others, including Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords.
WASHINGTON — A law enforcement official tells The Associated Press that the handgun used in a shooting that killed a federal judge and wounded a U.S. congresswoman in Tucson, Ariz., was purchased legally. U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords was shot in the head Saturday morning during an event with voters outside a local grocery store. U.S. District Judge John Roll, and at least five others, were killed in the attack.
The official, who has been briefed on the investigation, spoke to the AP on the condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to discuss details of the case. Officials have identified the shooter as 22-year-old Jared Loughner of Tucson. He is in custody. The Washington Post reported late Saturday that Loughner purchased the gun Nov. 30 from the Sportsman's Warehouse in Tucson.
TUCSON, Ariz. (AP) — Jared Lee Loughner agreed Tuesday to spend the rest of his life in prison, accepting that he went on a deadly shooting rampage at an Arizona political gathering and sparing the victims a lengthy, possibly traumatic death-penalty trial.
TUCSON -- Safeway, Inc., has built a memorial at its Tucson supermarket where six people were shot to death and Rep. Gabrielle Giffords and 12 others wounded.
Even the most traumatic events fade with time.
Jose de la Isla, guest commentary
Dan K. Thomasson, commentary
As soon as firearms dealer Greg Wolff heard news of the mass shooting in Tucson, he knew what was about to unfold: Gun sales would skyrocket.
Gov. Jan Brewer said a Tuesday visit to victims of Saturday's shooting in Tucson, designed to lift their spirits, actually did more good for her.
TUCSON — A wildlife officer pulled over the suspect in the assassination attempt against an Arizona congresswoman less than three hours before the deadly attack, authorities said Wednesday as they pieced together more details of a frenzied morning.
Jared Loughner ran a red light but was let off with a warning at 7:30 a.m. Saturday, the Arizona Game and Fish Department said. The officer took Loughner's driver's license and vehicle registration information but found no outstanding warrants on Loughner or his vehicle.
Wildlife officers don't usually make traffic stops unless public safety is at risk, such as running a red light. The stop was on an access road that connects to Interstate 10, well away from the grocery store, said Game and Parks spokesman Jim Paxon.
"He had a valid license, the car was registered, he had insurance," Paxon said. "He was warned and released because we had no probable cause to hold, or do an extensive search."
It's the latest evidence of Loughner's busy morning before police say he showed up at a Tucson grocery store in a taxi at 10:11 a.m. and shot 19 people, killing six, including a federal judge and a 9-year-old girl.
Also that morning, Loughner, 22, ran into the desert from his angry father, who was chasing his son after seeing him remove a black bag from the trunk of a family car, said Rick Kastigar, chief of the department's investigations bureau. Investigators are still searching for the bag.
Hours after the attack, sheriff's deputies swarmed the Loughners' home and removed what they describe as evidence Loughner was targeting Giffords. Among the handwritten notes was one with the words "Die, bitch," which authorities believe was a reference to Giffords.
Investigators with the Pima County Sheriff's Department previously said they found handwritten notes in Loughner's safe reading "I planned ahead," ''My assassination" and "Giffords." Capt. Chris Nanos said all the writings were either in an envelope or on a form letter Giffords' office sent him in 2007 after he signed in at one of her "Congress on Your Corner" events — the same kind of gathering where the massacre occurred.
Meanwhile, the city held a tribute to victims the eve of a presidential visit.
On Tuesday night, several hundred mourners filled a Tucson church for a public Mass to remember the slain and pray for the injured. As people filed in, nine young girls sang "Amazing Grace." The youngest victim of the attack, 9-year-old Christina Taylor Green, was a member of that choir.
"I know she is singing with us tonight," said Tucson Bishop Gerald Kicanas, who presided over the service.
President Barack Obama visits Arizona Wednesday and will honor the victims in a speech to a rattled state and nation.
In one apparent reaction to the shooting, the FBI said background checks for handgun sales jumped in Arizona following the shootings, though the agency cautioned that the number of checks doesn't equate to the number of handguns sold.
Still, there were 263 background checks in Arizona on Monday, up from 164 for the same day a year ago — a 60 percent rise. Nationally, the increase was more modest: from 7,522 last year to 7,906 Monday, a 5 percent jump.
Loughner's parents, silent and holed up in their home since attack, issued a statement Tuesday, expressing remorse over the shooting.
"There are no words that can possibly express how we feel," Randy and Amy Loughner wrote in a statement handed to reporters waiting outside their house. "We wish that there were, so we could make you feel better. We don't understand why this happened.
"We care very deeply about the victims and their families. We are so very sorry for their loss."
Giffords is breathing on her own and responding non-verbally to doctors after being shot in the head.
"We have really decreased the amount of sedation we are giving her and as a result of that, she's becoming more and more spontaneous all the time," said Dr. Peter Rhee, trauma chief at the University of Arizona.
Sheriff's deputies had been to the Loughner home at least once before the attack, spokesman Jason Ogan said. He didn't know why or when the visit occurred, and said department lawyers were reviewing the paperwork and expected to release it Wednesday.
The visits were for nonviolent incidents, including a report by Jared Loughner of identity theft, a noise complaint and Amy Loughner's claim that someone had stolen her license plate sticker, according to a report by The Wall Street Journal.
In addition to the new details about the hours before the shooting, interviews with those who knew Loughner or his family painted a picture of a young loner who tried to fit in.
Before everything fell apart, he went through the motions as many young men do nowadays: Living at home with his parents, working low-wage jobs at big brand stores and volunteering time doing things he liked.
None of it worked. His relationship with his parents was strained. He clashed with co-workers and police. And he couldn't follow the rules at an animal shelter where he spent some time.
Loughner was arrested in October 2008 on a vandalism charge near Tucson after admitting he scrawled the letters "C'' and "X'' on a road sign in a reference to what he said was Christianity. His address listed on the police report was an apartment near his home.
Loughner eventually moved back in with his parents.
Even when Loughner tried to do good, it didn't work out.
A year ago, he volunteered walking dogs at the county animal shelter, said Kim Janes, manager of the Pima Animal Care Center. He liked dogs; neighbors remember him as the kid they would see walking his own.
But at the shelter, staff became concerned: He was allowing dogs to play in an area that was being disinfected after one had contracted a potentially deadly disease, the parvovirus. Loughner wouldn't agree to keep dogs from the restricted area, and was asked to come back when he would. He never returned.
Loughner grew up on an unremarkable Tucson block of low-slung homes with palm trees and cactus gardens out front. Fittingly, it's called Soledad Avenue — Spanish for solitude.
Solitude found Loughner, even when he tried to escape it. He had buddies but always fell out of touch, typically severing the friendship with a text message. Zach Osler was one such friend.
Loughner's father moved into the house as a bachelor, and eventually got married, longtime next-door neighbor George Gayan said. Property records show Randy Loughner has lived there since 1977. Unlike other homes on the block, the Loughners' is obscured by plants. It was assessed in 2010 at $137,842.
Randy Loughner apparently has not worked for years — at least outside his home.
Amy Loughner got a job with the county parks and recreation department just before Jared was born, and since at least 2002 has been the supervisor for Roy P. Drachman Agua Caliente Park on the outskirts of the city. She earns $25.70 an hour, according to Gwyn Hatcher, Pima County's human resources director.
Linda McKinley, 62, has lived down the street from the Loughner family for decades and said the parents could not be nicer — but that she had misgivings about Jared as he got older.
"As a parent, my heart aches for them," she said.
Associated Press writers Alicia Chang and Gillian Flaccus in Tucson, Jacques Billeaud and Bob Christie in Phoenix, Christy Lemire in Los Angeles and news researcher Julie Reed in Charlotte, N.C., contributed to this report.
DES MOINES, Iowa — A 9-year-old girl killed in last weekend's mass shooting in Arizona will be buried in a hand-crafted casket donated by a group of Roman Catholic monks in Iowa.
Trappist Caskets, which is owned and operated by monks of the New Melleray Abbey near Dubuque, was contacted by the Bring Funeral Home in Tucson, Ariz., on behalf of Christina Taylor Green's family.
It's a comfort to the family "to know that it was made by monks and blessed by the monks," said Belinda Motzkin Brauer, a representative for the funeral home.
The casket is made of red oak grown in the monastery's forest, said Sam Mulgrew, the general manager of Trappist Caskets. It was engraved with Christina's name, date of birth and date of death before it was shipped to Arizona on Tuesday, Mulgrew said.
Christina's visitation is on Wednesday and her funeral is Thursday in Tucson. The girl, born Sept. 11, 2001, was among six people killed in the shootings that seriously wounded U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, who was meeting with constituents outside a grocery store. In total, 19 people were shot.
The New Melleray Abbey, which was founded in 1849, started Trappist Caskets in 1999 when the monks began selling caskets and urns to families at wholesale costs.
"Our caskets are made by hand. They're very slowly made. They're made by monks," Mulgrew said. "They don't make caskets the way we make them anymore."
The monks also made special keepsake crosses for Christina's family. In the spring, they will plant a red oak tree in Christina's honor.
Trappist Caskets donates many children's caskets. Mulgrew said the monks have established a fund for that purpose that people can donate to.
"They are opposed to profiting from it so they prefer to donate the caskets," Mulgrew said.
The monks belong to the Order of Cistercians of the Strict Observance, known as Trappists. They farmed in Iowa for 160 years, but gave that up last year, said Mulgrew, who is not a member of monks' community. Caskets are now their main business.
"This is good work. They are cloistered monks. It's a work of mercy for them and it's meaningful for them," Mulgrew said.
Doctors say Arizona Rep. Gabrielle Giffords is still responding to doctors and her condition is stable. Her brain remains swollen, but the pressure hasn't increased.
PHOENIX - A 22-year-old man described as a social outcast with wild beliefs steeped in mistrust faces a federal court hearing Monday on charges he tried to assassinate Rep. Gabrielle Giffords in a Tucson shooting rampage that left six people dead.
TUCSON — Homicide detectives and members of the Tucson Police Department internal affairs bureau are investigating an officer-involved shooting that claimed the life of a woman described by family members as suicidal.
TUCSON - A Tucson police officer has shot and killed a suspected armed robber who barricaded himself in a motel room.
TUCSON - Tucson police say an officer who was sent to check on a person lying in the desert fatally shot the man after he was attacked.
TUCSON - Two men are in critical condition after being found with serious injuries at a Tucson hotel, including gunshot wounds.
TUCSON - A Tucson police officer died Monday, a day after being shot in the head during a crosstown chase and shooting spree.
TUCSON - Tucson police announced a second arrest in connection with an attempted kidnapping that led to the shooting death of a 21-year-old Mexican man last month.