An alleged gunman has been formally charged in connection with Saturday’s shooting on Arizona Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords.
Jared Loughner, 22, seen above, was charged with one count of attempted assassination of a member of Congress, two counts of killing an employee of the federal government and two counts of attempting to kill a federal employee in connection with a supermarket shooting in Tucson, Ariz.
Arizona officials were working Sunday to appoint a public defender for him.
Investigators carrying out a search warrant at Loughner’s home seized an envelope from a safe containing Giffords’ name along with the message, “I planned ahead” and “assassination.”
They also found a letter from Giffords to Loughner, thanking him for coming to a “Congress On Your Corner” event in 2007, similar to gathering where the representative was shot through the left side of her head on Saturday.
Giffords remained in critical condition at Arizona’s University Medical Center on Sunday. While doctors were encouraged by her ability to respond non-verbally to commands, swelling of the brain remained a concern and Giffords’ long-term prognosis was still unknown.
“This side of her brain is the one that controls whether or not she’ll be able to put two and two together and say what she wants to. And how well she’ll say it also depends upon how much damage has been done to these vital speech areas,” said Dr. Arthur L. Jenkins III of the Mount Sinai School of Medicine.