You are hereABC News event reunites shooting rampage victims and heroes

ABC News event reunites shooting rampage victims and heroes


January 15, 2011- Two things are clear from Saturday's ABC News town hall meeting in Tucson.  One:  Tucsonans are eager to move forward and recover from last week's horrible shooting rampage.  And two:  that process is going to be slow and painful.   That latter point was driven home by the arrest of a shooting victim, who threatened a speaker during the taping of the program.

ABC News Anchor Christiane Amanpour hosted the remarkable gathering of victims, heroes, witnesses and first responders.  It was the first time most of them had been together since Jared Lee Loughner opened fire in a Safeway parking lot, killing 6, and wounding or injuring 14 others -- a rampage that happened one week earlier almost to the hour.

On the platform with Amanpour were Col. Bill Badger, who helped tackle gunman Jared Lee Loughner; Daniel  Hernandez, who ran to help wounded Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords while most people were ducking for cover, Patricia Maisch, who grabbed a magazine away from Loughner; Bill Hileman, whose wife, Susan, is still recovering from gunshot wounds. 

On the front row was Kenneth Dorushka, who was shot shielding his wife from Loughner's gunfire; and J. Eric Fuller, who was shot in the knee.

Most of the event was devoted to a recounting of what had happened that terrible morning.  Amanpour gently led the witnesses and survivors through the events, getting them to tell what they saw and experienced, and to talk about how they are coping.

Probably the most emotional moment came when Bill Hileman talked about his wife Susan's dual struggle:  physical and emotional.  The youngest victim who died in the shooting, 9 year old Christina Taylor Green, was there because she wanted to meet Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords.  A neighbor took her to the "Congress On Your Corner" event.  Susan Hileman was that neighbor.   Bill Hileman said that his wife now struggles with the fact that she took a neighbor's child to the event, but was not able to bring her home again.

The theme of the event was "An American Conversation Continued" --  the idea being to continue the conversation that a madman's brutal rampage had interrupted.  So it was inevitable that the conversation would eventually turn to politics.   It did, toward the end, with Amanpour leading a discussion on a very touchy but obvious topic:  gun control.

That's where the atmosphere turned tense.   When Tucson Tea Party founder Trent Humphries rose to suggest that any conversation about gun control should be put off until after the funerals for all the victims, witnesses say Fuller became agitated.  Two told KGUN9 News that finally, Fuller took a picture of Humphries, and said, "You're dead."

FULL STORY & VIDEO HERE:

Partners

National Hispanic Media Coalition
Democrats.com
After Downing Street
Progressive Democrats of America
Justice Through Music
National Association of Latino Independent Producers
The Backbone Campaign
Voters For Peace
Chelsea Neighbors United
Locust Fork News Journal
Liberty Tree
People's Email Network
Hispanic/Latino Defamation Coalition SF
DialogueMakers.org
ProsecuteThemNow.com
BuzzFlash.com
ePluribus Media