Here are accounts from some of the 13 people wounded in last Saturday’s shooting, which killed six people in front of a northwest-side Safeway:
RETIREE SHIELDS WIFE
Kenneth Dorushka, a retiree who traded New Jersey weather for the desert climate, moved to Tucson eight years ago with his wife of 41 years.
Dorushka, 63, was having his morning coffee when he heard about U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords’ visit. He suggested they head over to meet her since they had already planned to make a trip to their neighborhood grocery store.
The couple were halfway through the line to meet Giffords when Dorushka saw a man pull out a gun, his wife, Carol, said. Clearheaded as always, Dorushka threw his wife down to the ground.
Carol attempted to get up and run, but Kenneth held her down, shielding her head with his arm — the same arm that was struck by gunfire.
“That would’ve been my bullet,” Carol, 61, recalled.
Kenneth was treated and released from the hospital last Saturday.
WOUNDED VET DRIVES TO HOSPITAL
On most Saturdays, Eric Fuller can be found playing tennis for much of the morning. But last Saturday, the naval air veteran cut his match short to see Giffords. He appreciates her support of veterans and her views on solar energy.
As Fuller was sitting down reviewing some questions he planned to ask Giffords, he heard gunshots. He looked up to where Giffords had been standing and saw a gunman in her place.
As he made his way down to the sidewalk, Fuller was struck in the left knee and was hit in the back with bullet fragments.
Thinking he was gravely wounded by the shot to the back, Fuller said he felt his best chance of survival was to drive himself to Northwest Hospital. From there he was taken to UMC, where he remained through Monday morning.
EX-THERAPIST SHOT IN FOOT
The day before the shootings, Randy Gardner received an automated phone call from Giffords saying she’d be conducting a Congress on Your Corner event. Wanting to thank Giffords for her vote on health care, he took time out of his morning to stop by and greet her.
The retired mental-health therapist, 60, was standing behind five or six people when he struck up a conversation with a stranger — Phyllis Schneck — who happened to be a Republican but respected Giffords. It wasn’t long before their conversation was interrupted by a series of pops.
Realizing it was gunfire, Gardner told Schneck they had to get out of there. Gardner turned to take a step and was shot in the foot. He was taken to UMC for treatment and held overnight. Schneck was fatally wounded.