Bay Area politicians and religious leaders express both sympathy and hope for healing today after more than 18 people who were injured–including a Congresswoman from Arizona–and six killed in a shooting at an event in Tucson, Ariz. on Saturday.
At least 18 people were injured and six killed at about 10 a.m. Saturday, when a 22-year-old man opened fire in a Safeway parking lot at a political event hosted by Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, according to the Pima County Sheriff’s Department.
Giffords, who represents Arizona’s Eighth District, is in critical condition from injuries sustained in the shooting, the sheriff’s department said.
Among those that died include U.S. District Judge John Roll, 63, of Tucson, the sheriff’s department said.
Judges of the San Francisco-based 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals said the federal judiciary was in mourning over Roll’s death.
Roll was chief judge of the U.S. District Court for Arizona.
Arizona is one of nine western states in the 9th Circuit.
Chief 9th Circuit Judge Alex Kozinski said, “All of us in the 9th Circuit Court family were shocked and terribly saddened to learn of the death of Chief District Judge John Roll.”
Gov. Jerry Brown said that he was devastated by yesterday’s events.
“I am deeply saddened to learn of the shooting of Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords and others in Tucson,” Brown said. “My thoughts and prayers go out to the friends and families of those impacted by this terrible tragedy.”
During the inaugural meeting of the new San Francisco Board of Supervisors yesterday, Board President David Chiu requested a moment of silence for the victims in Arizona.
Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-San Francisco, called the shooting “a national tragedy.”
Pelosi said in a statement, “It is especially tragic that she was attacked as she was meeting with her constituents whom she serves with such dedication and distinction.”
Rep. Jackie Speier, D-San Mateo, called Giffords “a very talented, rising star in the Congress” who was “attacked while engaging in one of the most basic activities of public service.”
Rabbi Michael Lerner, at Beyt Tikkun Synagogue of San Francisco, said he fears that “more ordinary people are going to be afraid to participate in the democratic process or come to any public events” after the incident.
However, the Alice B. Toklas LGBT Democratic Club is hopeful that the nation can recover with time, calling for healing by means of unity.
“Rather than succumbing to this violence, we must now come together to continue the hard work and difficult choices that face our nation,” the Club said. “We hope that our leaders can move forward in a spirit of unity toward our shared values and the goals of a free and equal United States of America.”