Giffords Now Knows Who Died in Shooting

Family waited til she had recovered enough to process grief

By Polly Davis Doig,  Newser Staff

Posted Aug 20, 2011 7:38 AM CDT

(Newser) – Gabrielle Giffords has long known that she was injured in a shooting that claimed six lives, but family and friends waited until recently to tell the Arizona congresswoman the full story: That among the dead were 30-year-old aide Gabe Zimmerman, who she adored as if he were family, friend John Roll, and 9-year-old Christina Taylor Green. "She was deeply saddened by it," says a spokesman, who tells the Arizona Republic that Giffords was told in late July, just before her unexpected appearance on the House floor.

That quickly resulted in a phone call to Zimmerman's dad, Ross. "It wasn't very long, but it covered important things," he says. "She said she felt awful about Gabe. When Mark (Kelly) commented that she thought of him (Gabe) as her little brother, she said 'yes' very emphatically." "She's having to learn how to write with her left hand at this point. And now, she's having to start the grieving process that the rest of us started back in January," Zimmerman added.

Victims, from top left: Christina Taylor Green, 9, Dorothy Morris, 76, Arizona Federal District Judge John Roll, 63, and from bottom left, Phyllis Schneck, 79, Dorwin Stoddard, 76, and Gabe Zimmerman, 30.
Victims, from top left: Christina Taylor Green, 9, Dorothy Morris, 76, Arizona Federal District Judge John Roll, 63, and from bottom left, Phyllis Schneck, 79, Dorwin Stoddard, 76, and Gabe Zimmerman,...   (AP Photo/File)
This February 2010 file photo provided by the office of Rep. Gabrielle Giffords shows aide Gabe Zimmerman.
This February 2010 file photo provided by the office of Rep. Gabrielle Giffords shows aide Gabe Zimmerman.   (AP Photo/Office of Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, File)
Gabrielle Giffords sits with her mother Gloria Giffords outside TIRR Memorial Hermann Hospital on May 17, 2011 in Houston.
Gabrielle Giffords sits with her mother Gloria Giffords outside TIRR Memorial Hermann Hospital on May 17, 2011 in Houston.   (Getty Images)
Rep. Gabrielle Giffords prepares to enter a car as she leaves the Capitol after voting on debt legislation, on Monday, Aug. 1, 2011.
Rep. Gabrielle Giffords prepares to enter a car as she leaves the Capitol after voting on debt legislation, on Monday, Aug. 1, 2011.   (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)
In this May 17, 2011 file photo,  Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, who a spokesman says was told in late July the names of the dead, including aide Gabe Zimmerman and US District Judge John Roll.
In this May 17, 2011 file photo, Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, who a spokesman says was told in late July the names of the dead, including aide Gabe Zimmerman and US District Judge John Roll.   (AP Photo/southwestphotobank.com, P.K. Weis, File)
Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, D-Ariz., sits in a car with her husband Mark Kelly as she leaves the US Capitol after she appeared on the House floor to vote on debt legislation, Monday, Aug. 1, 2011.
Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, D-Ariz., sits in a car with her husband Mark Kelly as she leaves the US Capitol after she appeared on the House floor to vote on debt legislation, Monday, Aug. 1, 2011.   (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)
Emergency personnel carry Gabrielle Giffords from the shooting in Tucson, Ariz. on Saturday, Jan. 8, 2011 where Giffords and others were shot as she was meeting with constituents.
Emergency personnel carry Gabrielle Giffords from the shooting in Tucson, Ariz. on Saturday, Jan. 8, 2011 where Giffords and others were shot as she was meeting with constituents.   (AP Photo/James Palka)
In this undated file photo, Christina Green is shown. Green, 9, who was one of the victims killed in a mass shooting in Tucson, Ariz., in January.
In this undated file photo, Christina Green is shown. Green, 9, who was one of the victims killed in a mass shooting in Tucson, Ariz., in January.   (AP Photo/Green Family, File)
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