Sheriff's Dept. releases Giffords-shooting photos

2013-05-22T00:00:00Z 2013-05-22T07:45:07Z Sheriff's Dept. releases Giffords-shooting photosArizona Daily Star Arizona Daily Star Arizona Daily Star
May 22, 2013 12:00 am  • 

The Pima County Sheriff's Department released 580 photos Tuesday that investigators took in the aftermath of the Tucson shooting rampage.

About two-thirds of the photos are of individual vehicles in the parking lot of the Safeway shopping center on the northwest side where the shooting took place in January 2011. Six people were killed in the shooting and 13 were wounded, including then-U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords.

The photos include images of the handgun and high-capacity pistol magazines that Jared Lee Loughner used to carry out the attack, as well as photos of the motel room he rented the night before the rampage and the taxi he took to the grocery store. Other routine photos that were part of the investigation as authorities gathered evidence at the scene also were released.

However, the Sheriff's Department withheld "a great number of pictures" that showed victims of the shooting, said Deputy Tom Peine, a spokesman for the department.

Another spokesman, Deputy Jesus Bañuelos, said the department's legal adviser made the final decision about which photos to released based on content.

Video from the grocery store parking lot is in the hands of the FBI and has not been released, Peine said.

The images were released nearly two months after the Sheriff's Department made public roughly 2,700 pages of investigative reports examining the shooting, marking the public's first view into documents that authorities had kept private since the attack.

Those records provided more detail about the deteriorating psychological condition of Loughner in the hours leading up to the attack and the first glimpse into Loughner's family.

News organizations seeking police records and photos from the shooting were denied access in the months after the attack and after the arrest of Loughner, who was sentenced in November to seven consecutive life sentences, plus 140 years, after he pleaded guilty to 19 federal charges.

In late February, U.S. District Judge Larry Burns cleared the way for the release of the photos and records after the Arizona Daily Star, joined by Phoenix Newspapers Inc., which publishes The Arizona Republic, and KPNX-TV sought their release.

The judge said Lough-ner's right to a fair trial was no longer on the line now that his criminal case is resolved.

Copyright 2014 Arizona Daily Star. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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