The Main Stream

Nov 8, 2012 8:41 PM by Erika Flores

Unexpected consequences to Jan. 8th shooting

TUCSON - Out of the January 8th tragedy came something unexpected.

It seemed to help bring the Tucson community together.

Gary Blank said he will never forget January 8.

"I think at the time that this whole thing happened it was almost not believable that something like this would happen," said Blank.

After the shooting, like many, he visited the UAMC lawn.

"It was very very quiet. People just walked around, and it was more like people were just paying their respects," said Blank.

Blank lives within walking distance of the hospital and said sometimes when he would go by the lawn, there were up to 300 people on the lawn adding to the memorial.

"There were balloons, flowers, teddy bears, there were cards," said Blank. "It was a very tough thing and the way the town came together to show their support for her was amazing."

Jane Prescott Smith is with the National Institute for Civil Discourse, an organization born in response to the shooting to encourage more communication between political leaders and the community.

"Elected leaders were talking past each other, they weren't listening," said Smith.

This organization's goal is to ease bipartisan cooperation.

"There's been a lot of good that has come through the tragedy," said Bill Carnegie with the Tucson Together Fund.

Carnegie said the organization has raised over 500 thousand dollars so far for the victims of January 8.

"It was just absolutely overwhelming, and I think that's one of the things that really resonated with victims of this tragedy is how the community came together to help them," he said.

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