The Arizona shooting rampage that thrust Rep. Gabrielle Giffords into the spotlight as she fought for survival and killed federal Judge John Roll and a 9-year-old girl born on 9/11, claimed other casualties as well.
The six slain and more than a dozen wounded were all remembered -- and honored -- at a service this evening in Tucson led by President Barack Obama. Before the service, Obama and his wife, Michelle, went to University Medical Center to visit Giffords and other victims wounded in the shootings.
"George heard the pop-pop and tried to throw Dot to the ground and get on top of her, but it was too late," JoAnn Newland, the Morrises' neighbor, told The Arizona Republic. Friends said the Oro Valley couple acted like newlyweds and said George would lovingly refer to his wife as his girlfriend. "It was like they were still on their honeymoon after 50 years of marriage," Bonnie Royle, a neighbor who was friendly with the couple, told the paper.
Others described Dorothy Morris, a mother of two who was born and raised in Reno, Nev., as a kind and shy woman. "Dot was just a sweet, quiet, lovely person," Marilyn Melton, a friend, told the Reno-Gazette Journal. "I think what you'd call her is just nice, a nice lady, a nice human being." George remains hospitalized but is expected to recover from his wounds.
Phyllis Schneck, 79, left behind her three adult children, seven grandchildren and a great-granddaughter. Schneck's daughter B.J. Offutt struggled to comprehend how her mother, a homemaker and widow known for her cooking, could have come to such a violent end. "I can't make sense of it," Offutt told The Wall Street Journal. "There's no logical reason for it."
Offutt said she remembered her mother saying that she agreed with Giffords about "needing to better control the border." But another daughter, Phyllis Rautenberg, said their mother wasn't particularly political. "She was a woman that got married in the early 1950s, and she did all of that June Cleaver stuff," Rautenberg told The Washington Post. "She loved Tucson and had lots of friends there, and spent lots of time at her church."
Gabe Zimmerman was only 30. As Giffords' director of community outreach, he helped to plan the constituent meeting that ended in the deaths of six people. His father, Ross Zimmerman, said his son was caring, smart and hardworking. "I just want people to remember him," he told ABC News. The Giffords staffer had a fiancee, as well, a nurse by the name of Kelly O'Brien who is grieving today instead of planning her wedding. "For the moment, at least, Kelly has lost her future," Ross Zimmerman said of O'Brien.
C.J. Karamargin, another Giffords staffer, said Zimmerman, who grew up in California, was an incredibly hard worker. "Gabe was unfailingly patient with people. He presided over thousands of constituent cases," he told the Los Angeles Times. "He was helping World War II vets get medals, people with Medicare benefits, veterans with benefits issues. These are the types of things day-in and day-out he did, and he was determined to just do the best he could. He worked hard, he really worked hard."
Dorwin Stoddard, 76, died in the arms of his wife, Mavanell, or "Mavy" Stoddard, after trying to protect her from the gunfire. The pair were also high school sweethearts but grew up to marry other people before reuniting in the mid-1990s when they both became widowed. Dorwan was remembered as a caring husband and father and an active member of his church. Mavy was shot three times in the leg as she held her dying husband, but she survived.
Mike Nowak, the Stoddards' minister, said he could find no explanation for Stoddard's death. "You can't," he told The Arizona Daily Star. "We live in a world that is full of crime, full of hatred. You can ask yourself the question 'Why?' but there's never an answer when it hits so close to home."
The wounded also included Susan Hileman, 58, who had taken 9-year-old Christina Taylor Green to the Arizona Democrat's constituent meeting and was holding tightly to her hand when the girl was shot and killed. Hileman was shot three times but is expected to survive. Her husband, Bill Hileman, said his wife continues to cry out to Christina from her hospital bed.
"Most of what Susie has shared with me about the specifics are on the edges of a morphine-induced haze," he told NPR. "From time to time in moments of discomfort, things come out. ... I hear her in her semi-conscious ramblings screaming out 'Christina, Christina let's get out of here; let's get out of here!' She keeps talking about the holding of hands and then the realization that she was on the ground and the bleeding was profuse."
Eric Fuller, also 63, was shot in the leg. Fuller, who was released from the hospital Monday, said he was "outraged" that Giffords was attacked. He said the shooting was like a nightmare. "I was incredulous. It was a dream-like sequence, a bad dream-like sequence," Fuller told CBS' "The Early Show."
The list of injured also includes Mary Reed, who was shot in the back and arms as she shielded her teenage daughter from the gunfire. "It was terrifying," Reed told The Arizona Republic. "But I had to save my daughter." Reed said she is expected to fully recover. Her daughter wasn't shot, thanks to her mom.