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Wednesday, March 16, 2011

3 Tucson Victims Died From Gunshots to the Head

Three victims of the Tucson, Ariz., shootings, Phyllis Schneck, Dorwan Stoddard and Gabe Zimmerman, died after being shot in the head, according to autopsy reports.

3 Tucson Victims Died From Gunshots to the Head

Three of the six people killed in the Arizona shooting rampage that wounded U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords died from gunshots to the head, newly released autopsy reports show.

Giffords aide Gabriel Zimmerman, 30, and constituents Phyllis Schneck, 79, and Dorwan Stoddard, 76, all died after being shot in the head, The Washington Post reports. Stoddard was shot twice.

The three other people who perished in the Jan. 8 shooting in Tucson, Ariz., were shot in the torso.

Christina Taylor Green, the youngest victim at 9, was killed by a bullet wound to her torso, the Post said, with the bullet hitting her aorta, kidney, stomach and small intestine. Dorothy Jean Morris, 76, was shot twice in the torso, the Arizona Daily Star reports, and Judge John Roll, 63, was also hit in his midsection.

The six victims were hit a combined eight times, and the 13 people wounded were struck a total of 24 times, including grazing shots, the Daily Star reports. Thirty-one shell casing were recovered from the scene.

The autopsy reports were released Monday by the Pima County medical examiner's office after a federal judge rejected a prosecutor's request to keep them private. The prosecutor argued that news coverage about the autopsies could taint potential jurors and that five victims' families did not want the reports released, the Post said.

A gunman opened fire at Giffords' "Congress on Your Corner" event held outside a supermarket, with the 40-year-old Democrat the apparent target, authorities say. Giffords, who was shot in the head, survived long odds and is undergoing rehabilitation at a Houston hospital.

Authorities have charged 22-year-old Jared Loughner, a former college student, in the shootings. Facing 49 federal charges, Loughner has pleaded not guilty to charges of trying to assassinate Giffords and her two aides and faces a court appearance on Wednesday, The Associated Press said. Authorities say the gunman used a semiautomatic pistol.

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