TUCSON, Ariz. (AP) — Bell ringing and a human embrace event Sunday marked the solemn six-year anniversary of the mass shooting in Tucson that left six people dead and 13 others wounded, including former U.S. Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords.
Giffords was the target at the meet-and-greet event with constituents outside a supermarket and was gravely wounded after being shot in the head.
Among those killed were 9-year-old Christina-Taylor Green, U.S. District Court Judge John Roll and Giffords aide Gabe Zimmerman.
Gunman Jared Loughner was sentenced in 2012 to seven life terms in prison plus 140 years after pleading guilty to 19 counts related to the shooting.
On Sunday, Tucson Mayor Jonathan Rothschild rang a bell 19 times — once for each shooting victim — at the city's central fire station.
The January 8th Memorial Foundation later hosted a "human embrace event" at Hi Corbett Field to honor the victims and survivors of the shootings.
People attending were asked to wear a white shirt and make the Human Embrace symbol. Posters will be created after the event to benefit the planned large-scale memorial in downtown Tucson that foundation leaders hope will be part of the National Park Service.
The memorial, which will include carved symbols along a dark red steel wall and areas to reflect, is expected to be completed in 2018. The construction is estimated to cost $4.5 million.
Giffords, who was partially paralyzed by the shooting and suffers from a speech disorder, runs a group that aims to tighten gun laws.
She and her husband, Mark Kelly, a retired astronaut, founded Americans for Responsible Solutions, a political action committee that calls for stricter gun regulations.