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Vigil held for Giffords, AZ shooting victims

January 18, 2011 12:00:00 AM PST
Scripps College in Claremont held a candlelight vigil Tuesday night in honor of Arizona congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords and the other victims of the Tucson mass shooting.Giffords, a 1993 graduate of Scripps, is the first to be elected to public office. Current and former students honored her with a vigil of hope.

Giffords' condition continues to improve just 10 days after she was shot in the head.

She still isn't able to speak, but her husband, astronaut Mark Kelly, said she's making remarkable progress. He has been by her side since the shooting, spending most of his day holding her hand.

Kelly shared some of the intimate details in an exclusive interview with ABC's Diane Sawyer.

Kelly sleeps in the children's ICU and because he's been told by doctors to keep his wife's spirits up, he hasn't told Giffords the complete truth about what happened in Tucson that fateful day.

Giffords hasn't been able to speak because of the breathing tube, but Kelly is convinced his wife recognizes him. That's because she's been doing things she did before like play with his wedding ring.

"She'll move it up and down my finger, she'll take it off, put it on her own finger, move it to her thumb and move it back on my finger," he said.

Giffords is still unable to speak because of a tracheotomy. Doctors said she would be able to mouth words, but she hasn't done that yet. She is already undergoing physical rehabilitation.

Sawyer found out Kelly was in Houston when he received the news his wife had been shot, and on the plane ride to Tucson, his heart almost broke.

"As he was travelling to see her, racing to see her, the news reports erroneously reported that she had died, so he went through another cycle of anguish and then hope when he learned that it wasn't true," Sawyer told ABC7.

Kelly told Sawyer he feels for the parents of the accused shooter, Jared Loughner. He believes their son is very disturbed.

Meantime, the U.S. Justice Department said it will resist any effort to move Loughner's trial out of Arizona.

Law enforcement officials had said the trial could be sent to San Diego because of pre-trial publicity.

The judge appointed to the case and Loughner's defense attorney are both based in San Diego.

The case could also be moved because judges in Arizona have recused themselves because an Arizona judge was killed in the shooting.