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Ariz. suspect could face death in fatal attack

Jared Loughner, seen in a police mug shot, is accused in a shooting massacre in Tucson, Ariz. shooting on Jan. 8, 2011.
January 10, 2011 12:00:00 AM PST
The suspect in the deadly Tucson, Ariz., shooting that left six people dead and 14 others, including a U.S. congresswoman, wounded appeared in a federal court Monday afternoon. Jared Loughner, 22, is being held without bail and was being defended by attorney Judy Clarke, who defended "Unabomber" Ted Kaczynski.

Rep. Gabrielle Giffords' condition

Rep. Gabrielle Giffords has reached a second day since her surgery without increased swelling in her brain, but doctors said on Monday she's "not out of the woods yet."

"The CAT scans are showing that there is no progression of that swelling. We're not out of the woods yet," said neurosurgeon Dr. Michael Lemole of Tucson's University Medical Center at a press briefing.

Giffords was wounded when a gunman opened fire at a public gathering in Tucson Saturday morning. Five people died at the scene and one died at a hospital.

President Barack Obama asked the nation to pause for a moment of silence on Monday at 8 a.m. PT to honor the Arizona shooting victims.

President Obama was expected to arrive in Tucson for a Wednesday memorial for victims of the shooting.

Doctors said the bullet entered the left side of Giffords' brain. About half of her skull has been removed, but the good news was that the bullet did not cross hemispheres of her brain, said Dr. Peter Rhee.

Doctors say Giffords' family is by her side, and she follows their simple commands, which implies high level of brain function. According to ABC News, when Giffords' husband Mark Kelly asked her to hold up two fingers, she responded by making the peace sign with two fingers.

"She will make it through, she's a fighter," said Richard Morales of Tucson.

Suspect appears in federal court

Jared Loughner entered the courtroom handcuffed and wearing an inmate uniform. His head is shaved and he has a cut on his right temple.

Loughner appeared in a Phoenix court instead of in Tucson because all of the local judges have recused themselves, saying they felt they were so close to Federal Judge John Roll, they couldn't be impartial. Roll was one of the six killed in the shooting.

The judge asked Loughner if he understood that he could get life in prison or the death penalty for killing Roll. "Yes," he said.

Investigators carrying out a search warrant at Loughner's parents' home found an envelope in a safe with the words "I planned ahead," "My assassination" and the name "Giffords" next to what appears to be Loughner's signature.

A thank-you note signed by Giffords was also discovered after Loughner attended a similar event years ago.

"He told me he asked her some question that made absolutely no sense to me, but he said, 'I can't believe she doesn't understand it. Politicians just don't get it,'" said Loughner's friend Caitlin Ann Parker.

A classmate said Loughner "scared the living crap" out of him in an e-mail dated June 14.

"He is one of those whose picture you see on the news after he has come into class with an automatic weapon," the e-mail read.

ABC News and the Associated Press contributed to this report.


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