CaribWorldNews, NEW YORK, NY, Mon. Jan. 10, 2011: Caribbean-American Congresswoman, Yvette D. Clarke, has condemned the Jan. 8th shooting at the La Toscana shopping centre in Tucson, Arizona that claimed the lives of six people and left 16 including a 40-year-old congresswoman, injured.
Clarke called the act by Jared Loughner, 22, `senseless` and urged all to unite against such acts regardless of one`s political affiliation.
`I am truly shocked, horrified and deeply saddened to hear the news that US Representative Gabrielle Giffords along with members of her staff and constituents have been shot in a senseless act of violence,` Clarke, the daughter of Jamaican immigrants told the Caribbean Media Corporation.
`I consider her a great colleague of whom I have had the pleasure of serving alongside on important issues, such as immigration reform. I also consider her a great neighbour, as her Congressional office is located right next to mine on Capitol Hill.`
Giffords took a bullet to the brain and was on Sunday described as being in very critical condition at the University Medical Center in Tucson, Arizona.
Dead are nine-year-old Italian American, Christina Taylor Green, Dorothy Morris, Judge John Roll, Phyllis Schneck, Dorwin Stoddard, and Gabe Zimmerman.
Loughner has been charged on five counts by the U.S. Department of Justice, including attempting to kill a Congresswoman, two counts of first degree murder of federal employees, and two counts of attempted murder of federal employees. He will make an initial appearance on the complaint at 2 p.m. Mountain time today, Jan. 10, 2011, in front of U.S. Magistrate Judge Lawrence Anderson at the Sandra Day O`Connor Courthouse in Phoenix in courtroom 302.
He is entitled to a preliminary hearing and a detention hearing. The court will set a date for both hearings. Loughner remains in federal custody.
President Obama called the shooting an `unspeakable tragedy` and urged all Americans to keep those affected in their `thoughts and prayers.`
This as Pima County Sheriff Clarence W. Dupnik continued to make headlines Sunday for condemning the `atmosphere of hatred and bigotry` that he said has gripped the nation and his state and suggested that the 22-year-old suspect being held in the shooting was mentally ill and therefore more susceptible to overheated messages in the media.
`There`s reason to believe that this individual may have a mental issue. And I think people who are unbalanced are especially susceptible to vitriol,` he said during his televised remarks. `People tend to pooh-pooh this business about all the vitriol we hear inflaming the American public by people who make a living off of doing that. That may be free speech, but it`s not without consequences.`
Arizona has epitomized the bitter partisan political divide, particularly after conservatives introduced a law last summer to tackle illegal immigration.
Sarah Palin has been accused of using violent imagery to whip up the poisonous political atmosphere blamed by some for the killings.
The former Republican vice-presidential contender posted a `target map` on her Facebook page last March, telling voters in the forthcoming mid-term elections: `It`s time to take a stand.`
The graphic used gunsight-style crosshair targets on the districts of 20 Democrat politicians she had singled out for defeat after they supported Barack Obama`s healthcare reforms. Among those listed was Giffords.
But so far there has been no indication that the suspect identified with the Tea Party or was politically conservative. Neighbors and former classmates from nearby Mountain View High School described Loughner and his parents as loners who rarely spoke even to their immediate neighbors, according to the Washington Post. However, reports indicate he had made death threats in the past; ranted about `mind control` and terrorism in rambling YouTube postings, been linked to fanatical pro-white magazine with anti-Semitic and anti-government views and posted image of gun over U.S. history textbook on MySpace. Still a sports store says suspect passed FBI background check to buy a handgun. Loughner allegedly used a nine millimeter gun to shoot the victims on Saturday. As he stopped to reload the magazine was grabbed by a middle-aged woman struggled while a man whose head was grazed by a bullet first tackled Loughner and another helped hold him down until law enforcement officials arrived.
Congresswoman Giffords was hosting the first `Congress At Your Corner` event on Saturday in her district when the shooting occured. Last night, the news release remained the latest news on her congressional site.