Amazing Stories of Heroism Emerge in Tucson Tragedy
This is a rush transcript from "Hannity," January 11, 2011. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.
SEAN HANNITY, HOST: As we learn more information about the terrible events that took place on Saturday, amazing stories of bravery and great American heroism continue to emerge.
Now, one of these heroes is 24-year-old Joe Zamudio, and he helped take out Loughner before he could claimed anymore victims and kept him pinned to the ground until police could actually get there. And we have plenty of these stories of heroism and there are whole series of people that actually held him down for the time that they could.
And joining us now from Tucson with his very chilling account of that very fateful morning is -- Joe Zamudio is with us. And also with us is Arizona State Senate President Russell Pearce after overseeing a somber opening of the state legislature 's new session yesterday. Pearce who knows Congresswoman Giffords very well is now preparing for President Obama's trip to Tucson tomorrow. And he joins us tonight, live from Phoenix. Guys welcome to the program.
RUSSELL PEARCE, PRESIDENT, ARIZONA STATE SENATE: Thank you. Thank you very much.
JOE ZAMUDIO, HELPED SUBDUE ARIZONA SHOOTER: Thank you, Sean.
HANNITY: Joe, I read you a story. About, you know, coming from you obviously, you were there with your mom. And why don't you walk us through what happened that morning?
ZAMUDIO: It is really serendipitous, almost that we came -- I wasn't even supposed to go to work that day. I was supposed to go watch football. And my mother asked me to come in, she said she would take me to breakfast first. So, we came here to be on bread, we had breakfast, I said I'm going to go grab a pack of cigarettes. She says, I'm going to some cookies from Safeway. I said I'll see you at work. I parked in front of the Walgreens, I went inside. Before I could finish my transaction, I heard the gunshots ring out and I came running to help.
HANNITY: Yes. You have strong opinions about this. You know, for those people that were saying, you know, you say, yes he's crazy. But he also planned this out as the new information is coming in tonight. Does that make you angrier? And you even, I read in one interview, you've beaten yourself up a little bit because you had a gun with you, and you felt you had you been there a split second earlier, you might have been able to save that 9-year-old girl?
ZAMUDIO: Before I went into the store, I actually thought about walking down there to see what was going on and I just decided to get my cigarettes first. And that decision has been haunting me ever since.
HANNITY: Yes. But you did help and you did go when you were needed and you played a crucial role as others did.
Now, Senator, I understand you were a friend of the congresswoman. Tell us a little bit about her?
PEARCE: Well, Gabby, as you like to be called, a good lady. I worked with her in the state legislature. You know, I think with different parties, you have lot of difference of opinion when it comes to, you know, border security or interior enforcement. But when I liked about Gabby, she was a decent lady, we never had a terse word, never had a terse word. We agreed in an agreeable fashion. She was a good lady, a hardworking congresswoman. And again, difference of opinion, absolutely, but this was an outrageous attack on everybody. It was a senseless act of violence. And it was a sad day for all of us. In fact, when we heard about this, we were at a Republican meeting, an organizational meeting for (INAUDBILE) County, had just about 1,300 Republicans in attendance. We got the news -- immediately suspended the activities. Immediately went to prayer. Lot of tearful eyes. Truly, truly, it was a sad day and --
HANNITY: Joe, let me go back to you, because you heard the gun shots. And you weren't in the exact location. But then you went down there as soon as you heard those gunshots. And you were one of the guys that helped pin this shooter down. Tell us exactly what happened from the moment you got there?
ZAMUDIO: As I approached the people wrestling with him, one of the other gentlemen actually had gotten the gun away from him. And that's what I saw first was him holding the gun. And, you know, I had my hand on my pistol and I saw that the gun he was holding was locked back, and so it was empty. And I decided that instead of pulling my gun, I would try and get that gun from him. So, I ran up to him and grabbed his wrist and pushed him up against the wall. At that point, everybody around me says no, no, it's this guy, you got that wrong guy. Then I told him, you know, just put it on the ground, just drop it. And he dropped it, and stepped on it. And at that point, the woman asked me to assist them in holding down Jared, and so I did, I pinned him down with my knee on the back of his leg and I put my arm in the small of his back and held him there until the authorities arrived.
HANNITY: Joe, you are one of the real heroes in this. Thank you for being with us and telling us your story about the tragedy. We appreciate it.
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