/ Modified jan 8, 2014 3:27 p.m.

Jan. 8 Permanent Memorial to Honor Victims, Tucson Community

Nearly three years after tragedy, official memorial underway; will be located at the Pima County Courthouse.


Nearly three years after a gunman opened fire at a Tucson grocery store, killing six people and wounding 13 more, the city is preparing to build a memorial marking that day. But some of those helping with such project have other hopes for the memorial.

On Monday morning, a small crowd gathered outside the Pima County Courthouse, which will soon be the location of the January 8 shooting permanent memorial.

Pam Simon is among those gathered in front of the courthouse.

She said the memorial should not only commemorate the shooting victims, but also the people who helped that day; from good samaritans to first responders.

"(People) will learn about the extraordinary response of our community," Simon said.

The courthouse is miles away from the Safeway, located in the north side of Tucson, where six people died and then-U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords was among the 13 wounded. But the foundation building the memorial said the county government courthouse is a better fit because those who died and were injured were participating in a local government event - Congress on Your Corner - the time of the shooting.

In the days following the massacre, memorials sprung up in the grocery store parking lot and at the hospital where victims received medical attention. People brought flowers, hand-written letters, candles and symbolic trinkets. All of those will be incorporated into the memorial in progress' design.

Ross Zimmerman lost his son, Gabe, that day. Gabe worked for Giffords at the time.

"As I've been explaining to people, we've got a series of extraordinary memorials to my son, Gabe, and those have been wonderful and sufficient but I felt that the community needed a memorial."

The actual memorial is still a year, and maybe even two, away.

Zimmerman said if his son were still alive, he would have probably helped in the construction process.

"I'm not as good as he is...was...at facilitating some of those community processes, but I figured I should do my best."

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