Tucson shooting survivors reunite at hospital
TUCSON, Ariz. – At least four survivors of the mass shooting in Tucson had a reunion of sorts Thursday with each other and some of the hospital staff who helped save their lives, hugging and crying as they reflected on the events of Jan. 8.
Survivors Susan Hileman, Mavy Stoddard, Mary Reed and Randy Gardner hugged each other and hospital staff and caught up with each other through tears at University Medical Center in Tucson.
It was the first time some of them saw the people who treated and comforted them in some of the toughest days of their lives.
Stoddard was shot three times in the leg that day. Her husband, Dory, shielded his wife with his body and was killed.
She teared up as she thanked one of the nurses who treated her and spoke with Pat Maisch, a Tucson woman who grabbed a gun magazine from the suspect before he could reload.
"You saved a lot of lives that day," Stoddard told Maisch, who said the real heroes were the two men who tackled Jared Lee Loughner, the man charged with the shooting.
"I really think he was trying to kill as many people as possible," Maisch told Stoddard.
Hileman organized the get-together and invited members of the media.
She was holding hands with 9-year-old Christina-Taylor Green when the shooting erupted outside a Tucson grocery store. Christina-Taylor and five others were killed, while 13 people were wounded, including Rep. Gabrielle Giffords.
Hileman survived three gunshots and said she just wanted to thank staff members for what they did for her that day.
"It feels like the circle is coming around, and it's a part of healing — to be done with it," Hileman said.