Local AZ Latino Community Reacts to Shooting Rampage

The Latino community in Arizona, like most Americans throughout the nation, were stunned by the weekend shooting spree in Tucson that killed six and wounded 14 others, including US Rep. Gabrielle Giffords.

The Democratic congresswoman was hit in the head during a Congress on Your Corner events over the weekend where Tucsonans had gathered to chat with her. Constituents say she has always been accessible.

“She’s very down to earth, very personable and very approachable,” said Isabel De La Torre, who lives in Giffords’ district and was in the area when shooting occurred. “She worked for the people; what happened is very sad.”

Local Latino community leaders who have long collaborated with Giffords on various projects said they are hoping she and the other victims are able to pull through. Giffords remains in critical condition and doctors say they are cautiously optimistic.

“I feel great sadness for those were killed and their families,” said Richard Elias, who is on the Pima County Board of Supervisors. 

He called Giffords a strong leader whose political savvy is badly needed in Arizona. “She has a great heart, and is a tremendous asset to everyone in our community, no matter what ethnicity or race you are. We need her to be a part of the dialogue here in Southern Arizona and throughout the nation.”

Michael Gomez, the mayor of Douglas in southeast Arizona, said he was sickened to hear about the shooting of his close friend Gifford and some of the congresswoman’s staff members he has worked closely with since he was a councilman.

“Gabby has worked hard for Douglas and she has really worked for the ranchers out here. When we’ve asked for help she’s never denied it.”

—Lourdes Medrano