City lowers flags to commemorate Arizona shooting victims

January 10, 2011

By Staff

NEW — 6 p.m. Jan. 10, 2011

The city has lowered flags to half-staff at municipal buildings through Friday to honor the people killed in Tucson, Ariz., shootout Saturday.

The shootout left six people dead and 14 others injured, including Arizona Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords, a Democrat re-elected to a third term in November. Giffords remain in critical condition at a Tucson hospital.

The incident prompted condemnation from local and Washington state elected officials.

“We don’t know yet whether the politically-charged use of gun imagery targeting the congresswoman contributed to this despicable shooting, but the congresswoman herself warned that such language and actions can have consequences,” King County Executive Dow Constantine said in a statement. “We as a community must condemn those who exploit the language of violence, and demand a more civil discourse in the public and political arena.”

State Rep. Glenn Anderson also attributed the attack to superheated political rhetoric.

“The most fundamental characteristic of Americanism is that we settle our political differences at the ballot box and not with an ammunition box,” he said in a statement. “The poisonous rhetoric of both left-wing and ring-wing extremists must be seen for what it is and roundly condemned.”

The six-term Fall City Republican represents Issaquah and the 5th Legislative District in Olympia.

Congressman Dave Reichert decried the attack on Giffords, a colleague in the 435-member U.S. House of Representatives.

“Events such as these shake us to our core; they make us feel vulnerable and remind us that each life is precious,” he said in a statement. “We as Americans must stand tall in the face of such despicable, horrifying acts. We must not — we will not — tolerate such violence in this country, a country that was founded on the ideals of tolerance and respect of the views and rights of all Americans.”

Reichert represents Issaquah and the 8th Congressional District. The district stretches across eastern King and Pierce counties.

“My thoughts and prayers are with all of the victims and families affected by this horrific tragedy,” U.S. Sen. Patty Murray said in a statement. “All Americans understand that this kind of senseless violence has no place in our society and I join with them in condemning this act and hoping for the very best for all those who are fighting to survive.”

U.S. Sen. Maria Cantwell described Giffords as a “leader on important 21st century issues of clean energy, border security and the innovation economy” in the federal government.

“Our thoughts and prayers are with her family, friends and congressional staff,” Cantwell said in a statement. “And our prayers also go out to all those who lost their lives or have been injured by this senseless shooting.”

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