Gabe Zimmerman: Arizona shooting victim, community outreach volunteer, and fiance
Gabriel Zimmerman, 30, was killed in the mass shooting at Rep. Gabrielle Giffords's Congress on the Corner event. Zimmerman, a former social worker, was Giffords's director of community outreach and the organizer of the meet-and-greet event.
The Wall Street Journal writes that his mother Emily Nottingham said, "He loved his job working as a congressional aide because it allowed him to be involved in developing social policy while giving direct assistance to those who needed help, such as veterans and people with mental illness."
Zimmerman was Giffords's point of contact for constituents in the district. It was a great fit: Zimmerman had a degree in social work, natural empathy and an extroverted personality, those who knew him said.
"He always cared what people had to say," said Jonathan Kalm, a freshman at Arizona State who had interned in the district office. When tea party activists held a protest there during the health-care debate, "Gabe was able to reason with them," Kalm said.
Zimmerman was a Tucson native. He had worked for Giffords since her first campaign in 2006. He was engaged to marry a nurse and was an avid runner, friends said.
Zimmerman had worked with Giffords since her first congressional race in 2006, the Arizona Daily Star reports, and his friends described him as having a natural talent at working with other people.
He received a bachelor's degree in sociology from the University of California at Santa Cruz and a master's in social work from Arizona State University. In addition to his mother, he is survived by his father, Ross Zimmerman, step-mother Pam Golden, brother Ben Zimmerman, and fiancée Kelly O'Brien.
The Wall Street Journal reports that there are no plans yet for a funeral service.
TBD news editor Sommer Mathis tweeted:
Stunned to learn one of the dead was a friend from high school. Gabe Zimmerman. One of the nicest guys in the world. http://politi.co/frdHbZ
| January 10, 2011; 8:12 AM ET
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