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New photo shows Giffords seconds before shooting

Tucson shooting victim Jim Tucker, left, and his wife Doris, right, stand on either side of Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, Jan. 8, 2011. This photo was taken just moments before the shooting that killed six people and wounded 13 others.
KOLD/Giffords staff

TUCSON, Ariz. - This story was written by Dan Marries of KOLD in Tucson, Ariz. You can email Dan at dmarries@kold.com.

A picture snapped less than a minute before Tucson's horrific mass shooting shows Rep. Gabrielle Giffords doing what her staff says "she loves to do; talk to her constituents."

Standing in front the Safeway store on Jan. 8 at her "Congress on your Corner Event," Giffords was talking to Jim Tucker and his wife Doris when the shots rang out. Doris was standing right there when her husband and Giffords fell to the ground. "I remember putting my hands to my ears and screaming," Doris told us in a previous interview, "I just concentrated on Jim, kneeling down by him, grabbing his hand."

Giffords was shot in the head. Jim Tucker took two shots to his body, one in his calf and the other in his collarbone, He recalls, "My body was just in shock, I was just spread out on my back, and I couldn't move."

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Tucker wrote to me in an e-mail, "I could not see the others, but I could barely see my wife crouching near the concrete. I felt paralyzed, unable to move. Miraculously, she had not been shot."

"Once our eyes locked on each other, I just breathed a prayer, thanking God that things could havTragedy in Tucsone been a lot worse for the two of us."

Tucker goes on to says, "I remember looking up at the sprinklers protecting the canopy overhead (always the fire inspector) when she moved next to me and told me I had been shot. Indeed I had: the bullet to my shoulder at point blank range had knocked me on my back but the second bullet to my lower right leg I did not feel."

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Jim has the sobering realization they were just mere inches away from a much worse outcome and Doris wonders why she wasn't shot, "I've wondered since the very beginning, why wasn't I shot, but I just take it as a miracle from God that I wasn't, for some purpose."

Her purpose since the shooting has been helping her husband recover from his wounds, "I'll just be right there by his side until he's independent."

For more coverage of the Tucson shooting, visit KOLD.com