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Aide: Giffords now knows who died in shooting

/ Source: The Associated Press

Rep. Gabrielle Giffords is now aware of who was killed during the January shooting rampage in Tucson that left her seriously wounded, her chief spokesman says.

The Arizona Republic reported that C.J. Karamargin confirmed Friday that the Democratic politician was told in late July the names of the dead, including her loyal aide Gabe Zimmerman; U.S. District Judge John Roll, a close friend; and 9-year-old Christina-Taylor Green.

Giffords has been recovering from a gunshot wound to the brain from the Jan. 8 shooting that killed six people and wounded her and 12 others.

Her loved ones had been keeping the extent of the tragedy from her until she was strong enough to handle it.

Husband Mark Kelly said in June that she was aware of the number of casualties but not their names.

Deeply saddened
Karamargin said she was deeply saddened by the news, which came days before her surprise Aug. 1 appearance on Capitol Hill.

Giffords was shot in the head in the parking lot of a Tucson grocery store while meeting with constituents.

The man charged in the shooting, Jared Lee Loughner, was sent to a federal prison facility in Springfield, Mo., after a federal judge concluded he was mentally incompetent to stand trial on 49 charges.

The paper reported that earlier this month, Giffords gave her personal condolences to Ross Zimmerman, Gabe's father, during a brief telephone conversation

"She still has some trouble with language, but there is no question that she can get her point across and her comprehension is 100 percent," Zimmerman told the paper. "It was Gabrielle — it was nice to talk to her."

Karamargin's last day with Giffords was Friday. He has taken a job as vice chancellor for public information and government relations at Pima Community College.