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Posted at 6:22 PM ET, 01/10/2011

Sheriff's dept. seeking state murder charges against Loughner in Tucson shooting

By Jerry Markon


Credit: By Chris Morrison/Associated Press

Updated, 6:22 p.m.: Arizona will bring state murder charges against Jared Loughner in Saturday's mass shooting in Tucson, Ariz., in addition to the federal charges filed, and Loughner could also face dozens of additional state counts for endangering people in the crowd, officials said Monday.

Pima County Attorney Barbara LaWall said her office "absolutely" will bring murder and other charges because "we have so many victims, and it's important to have justice for them and not just for the federal employees.''

She said it is unclear whether charges will be filed soon or after the federal case against Loughner is finished. "We don't want to do anything to endanger the case,'' she said.

She said Loughner will be charged with four counts of murder for the four victims who died who were not federal employees, and that other counts -- to cover injured victims who did not work for the federal government -- could include attempted murder and aggravated assault.

LaWall's office is also exploring what might be dozens of additional charges under an Arizona statute making it a felony to endanger someone with "substantial risk of imminent death or physical injury.'' That charge, which carries a maximum penalty of up to three years in prison per count, is often used in other shootings and when people are endangered by automobiles.

About 150 people attended Saturday's event outside a supermarket during which six people were killed and 14 wounded, including Rep. Gabrielle Giffords.

"We will have way more victims,'' LaWall said. "Not only do we have deceased victims and those injured, but we also have numerous victims who were in the line of fire.''

Federal officials have charged Loughner with murder and attempted murder in the shooting rampage. The federal murder counts cover the shooting deaths of U.S. District Judge John M. Roll and Giffords staffer Gabriel Zimmerman. Their cases will likely remain in federal court, state officials said.

Federal and state authorities often file different sets of charges in mass shooting incidents and generally coordinate to determine where a case will proceed first.

More from Post Politics:
-- Jared Loughner arraignment: Live from the court house
-- Obama's Challenge: What to say
-- LIVE BLOG: The Tucson Shooting
-- U.S. sees evidence of assassination plot
-- Giffords in critical 48-hour period
-- BlogPost: Did you observe moment of silence?
-- How an event for constituents turned tragic

This post has been updated since it was first published.

By Jerry Markon  | January 10, 2011; 6:22 PM ET
Categories:  44 The Obama Presidency  
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Next: Have you changed your tone because of the Arizona shootings?

Comments

the pima county sheriff`s dept.has to take some of the blame for not having some kind of security for the congress woman.i think he knows this and that is why he is on the offensive.even as bad as new jersey is ,it always has a police presence when our politicians speak in public.

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