May 25, 2011
Suspected Giffords shooter declared unfit for trial—for now
U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Gifford’s alleged assailant, Jared Loughner, has been ruled unfit for trial but will be reassessed in four months.
U.S. District Court Judge Larry Burns, ruling Wednesday in Tucson that Loughner does not “have a rational understanding of the proceedings” at this time, sent him to a psychiatric facility and ordered a new hearing for Sept. 21 to reassess his fitness to stand trial.
Loughner exploded with rage and had to be removed from the courtroom.
He allegedly opened fire Jan. 8 at a Tucson meet-the-constituents event hosted by Giffords (D-Ariz.), critically wounding the lawmaker. Six people were killed in the attack.
Giffords, the first Jewish woman elected from her state to a federal office, has been rehabilitating since the shooting and reportedly has made progress.