Detained Arizona shooting suspect "planned to assassinate Giffords"

Washington, Jan 10 (ANI): Evidence seized from the house of Jared Lee Loughner, the primary suspect in connection with the deadly shooting in Tucson in the United States, has revealed that he had planned to 'assassinate' Representative Gabrielle Giffords, according to documents filed in the Federal District Court in Phoenix.

Giffords, an Arizona Democrat, and 18 others were shot on Saturday morning when a gunman opened fire outside a supermarket where Giffords was meeting with her constituents.

The New York Times quoted Special Agent Tony M. Taylor Jr. of the Federal Bureau of Investigation as saying in an affidavit that an envelope found in a safe in Loughner's house bore these handwritten words: "I planned ahead," "My assassination" and "Giffords."

The apparent lone attacker is reportedly in federal custody, and is scheduled to make his first appearance before a magistrate judge in Phoenix on Monday.

Besides being accused of trying to kill Giffords, Loughner was charged with the killing and attempted killing of four federal government employees, including Judge John M. Roll, who was killed, Gabriel Zimmerman, a Congressional aide who was also killed, Pamela Simon and Ron Barber, aides who were wounded.

Loughner could face the death penalty if convicted, the paper said.

He has been reportedly accused on the basis of a surveillance video that had captured events outside the supermarket.

Giffords, who represents Arizona's Eighth District in the south-eastern corner of the state, has been an outspoken critic of Arizona's tough immigration law, which is focused on identifying, prosecuting and deporting illegal immigrants. She had come under criticism for her vote in favour of the Democrats' health care law. (ANI)

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