Law enforcement officials investigating this morning's shooting rampage in Tucson just wrapped up a press conference and say they have reason to believe there could be a second suspect in the shooting that left six dead and several -- including Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords -- seriously injured.
Pima County Sheriff Clarence Dupnik told reporters law enforcement officials have photos of the potential second suspect -- a white male in his 50s -- in the case. He would not go into further detail, other than to say authorities are looking for the suspect.
Dupnik also confirmed what's been speculated for much of the day: Federal Judge John Roll is dead.
Roll, appointed to the federal bench by President George H.W. Bush in 1991, was merely stopping by the event when the shooting took place.
"Unfortunately, [Roll] was in the wrong place at the wrong time," Dupnik says. "He was one of the finest human beings I've ever met in my life."
Dupnik says Roll had gone to mass this morning and, as he would often do when Congresswoman Giffords would hold her "Congress on the Corner" events, he stopped by to say hello.
Nineteen people were shot by suspect Jared Loughner. Six of those people, including Roll and a 9-year-old girl, have died. Several more are in serious or critical condition -- including Giffords.
Giffords suffered a gunshot wound to the head. The bullet went "right through the brain," according to Pete Rhee, director of the University Medical Center. Giffords, he says, is out of surgery and in critical condition.
"I'm as optimistic as I can be in this situation," Rhee says.
Dupnik characterized Loughner as unstable, but not insane.
Dupnik says Loughner's strange political leanings could have been fueled by the views of extremist political activists who "inflame" emotions.
"[Arizona has] become a Mecca for prejudice and bigotry," he says. "That may be free speech, but it's not without consequence."
Keep Phoenix New Times Free... Since we started Phoenix New Times, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Phoenix, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Phoenix with no paywalls.