TUCSON, Arizona (Reuters) - Arizona Governor Jan Brewer asked Arizonans on Tuesday to pray for the victims of a Tucson shooting spree that killed six people and wounded 14.
Devoting most of her annual State of the State speech to the rampage, Brewer called it “something dark and ugly”, according to a transcript of the speech released by her office.
Among those injured in the shooting on Saturday were Representative Gabrielle Giffords, who investigators believe was the shooter’s principal target, and who remains in critical condition at a local hospital.
Killed were a federal judge, a 9-year-old girl and four others.
The suspect in the shooting, 22-year-old Jared Lee Loughner, is being held pending a January 24 preliminary hearing on five charges, including the attempted assassination of Giffords.
“There is no way to measure what Tucson and all of Arizona lost in that moment,” Brewer said. “The statistics -- six dead, 14 wounded -- in no way explain the depth of this tragedy.”
After paying tribute to the victims, the governor said: “So I ask you to join me in a moment of silence, to pray for those we’ve lost, the injured and the suffering.”
Brewer became Arizona governor in 2009 when Janet Napolitano resigned to head the Department of Homeland Security. She won election in November to her first full term in office.
Brewer came under the national spotlight, and fierce criticism from immigrant rights activists and others, in April when she signed into law a state measure cracking down on illegal immigration.
Writing by Dan Whitcomb; Editing by Jerry Norton