'This Week' Transcript: Tragedy in Tucson


RAYLE: She appeared to be conscious. She was -- had a head wound that was covered with blood. One of her aides had her propped up against -- was holding his arm around her, had her propped up kind of against the wall of the Safeway and was comforting her, and had most of her face covered with a jacket.

AMANPOUR: In the end, five people were pronounced dead at the scene, as Giffords and the others were airlifted to the hospital. As news of the shooting spread, so did speculation about what might have provoked the killer.

(UNKNOWN): It feels very, very eerie, very uncomfortable, very unsettling, and right now, we really don't know the full extent of this story.

AMANPOUR: Last year, with the immigration and health care battles at a fever pitch in this state, Giffords' office had been vandalized. And today, as the congresswoman's father rushed to her bedside, a reporter asked him if his daughter had any enemies. "Yes," he said, "the whole Tea Party."

But, in fact, the suspect in custody, 22-year-old Jared Loughner, has no known ties to the Tea Party or any conservative group.

At the White House, President Obama huddled with his advisers in the Situation Room. As FBI Director Robert Mueller headed to the scene of the crime, the president went to the podium to address the nation.

OBAMA: It's not surprising that today Gabby was doing what she always does, listening to the hopes and concerns of her neighbors. That is the essence of what our democracy is all about.

That is why this is more than a tragedy for those involved. It is a tragedy for Arizona and a tragedy for our entire country. What Americans do at times of tragedy is to come together and support each other.

AMANPOUR: At 2 p.m. Tucson time, four hours after the shooting, the congresswoman's surgeon emerged with an update.

(UNKNOWN): The congresswoman is not deceased.

QUESTION: Could you tell us her condition currently?

(UNKNOWN): She is in critical condition.

AMANPOUR: The bullet had passed straight through her brain, but after hours of grueling surgery, Giffords was still alive.

(UNKNOWN): I'm about as optimistic as it can get in this situation.

AMANPOUR: For 6 of the other 19 victims, there was no hope. Among them, 9-year-old Christina Taylor, pronounced dead at the hospital; 30-year-old Gabe Zimmerman, Giffords' director of community outreach -- he was engaged to be married; and Judge Roll. The Tucson sheriff, Clarence Dupnik, was a friend of his.

DUPNIK: This morning, he got up like he does on every Saturday morning, went to mass, because he knows Gabrielle very well, decided to come around the corner and say hi. Unfortunately, he was in the wrong place at the wrong time.

AMANPOUR: The sheriff also says that he's not convinced the shooter acted alone.

DUPNIK: We have an individual that we are actively in pursuit of, but I can't tell you who he is at this point.

AMANPOUR: And a few hours later, authorities released a photo of the person they said they were seeking: a white male, 40 to 50 years old. An individual, police believe, came to Congresswoman Giffords' town meeting with the shooter, Jared Loughner.

In Arizona, the flags are flying at half-mast in front of the medical center where the congresswoman is being treated. Governor Jan Brewer's voice cracked with emotion as she addressed reporters.

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