Jan. 8, 2011: Night has fallen, bringing a sense of calm and peacefulness normally associated with Arizona’s post-sunset hours. But there is little rest tonight for the families of 19 people shot this morning – six of whom died – their families and members of the law enforcement agencies investigating the tragedy.

Shortly after 10 a.m. Saturday, an armed gunman shot Rep. Gabrielle Giffords and 18 others during one of her “Congress on Your Corner” events at a Safeway at Ina and Oracle roads in northwest Tucson. Roads around the intersection were shut down until long after sunset, backing up traffic in all directions most of the day.

Conflicting information was announced Saturday during the early hours of the investigation. Many details were clarified during a press conference held by law enforcement agencies at 6 p.m. Saturday.

They included:

The 22-year-old gunman was tackled by people in the crowd – one reportedly an intern in Giffords’ camp—after shooting Giffords in the head and then others, including federal judge John Roll and a 9-year-old girl, both of whom died.

Police did not release the name of the gunman at the press conference but most news media outlets have released the name of Jared Lee Loughner (reported earlier as Laughner). Police said the suspect has a troubled past.

The gunman may have intended to commit suicide after the shootings, police say.

Police have reason to believe the gunman did not act alone. They are searching for a while male in his 50s. Police do not believe the man fired a bullet.

Giffords was the intended target, police say.

Surgeons at University Medical Center in Tucson are “very optimistic” about Giffords’ recovery. Following surgery, Giffords was following commands, said Dr. Peter Rhee during a press conference held earlier that day.

Six people were killed, and another 13 were injured during the shooting.

How do you feel about this event? Will you think twice about attending a political gathering in the future? Share your thoughts by e-mailing editor@explorernews.com or visiting our Facebook and Twitter pages.

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