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Tucson shooting photos of crime scene, evidence released

Tucson shooting photos of crime scene, evidence released
Retired Navy Capt. Mark Kelly sits with his wife Rep. Gabrielle Giffords as she prepares to make a statement before a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on gun violence on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC on January 30, 2013. UPI/Pete Marovich | License Photo

TUCSON, May 22 (UPI) -- The Pima County Sheriff's Department released 580 photos of the Tucson crime scene where six people died and then-Rep. Gabrielle Giffords was among the wounded.

The 580 photos include pictures of the handgun and high-capacity magazines used by Jared Lee Loughner in his shooting spree at the Tucson grocery store parking lot Jan. 8, 2011, photos of the motel room where he stayed before the rampage, the taxi he took to the grocery store, and clothing and cell phones, the Arizona Daily Star reported Tuesday.

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Giffords, a Democrat, was conducting a congressional meet-and-greet at the store when Loughner opened fire, killing six people and wounding a dozen more.

Deputy Tom Peine, a sheriff's department spokesman, said a "great number of photos" that showed the victims were withheld.

Another spokesman, Deputy Jesus Banuelos, said the department's legal counsel made the final decision about which photos would be released based on content.

The images were released about two months after the department made public nearly 2,700 pages of investigative reports on the shooting, the Daily Star said.

News organizations seeking police records and photos were denied access following the attack and after Loughner's arrest, the Daily Star said. Loughner, who has a history of mental illness, was sentenced in November to seven consecutive life sentences, plus 140 years, after he pleaded guilty to 19 federal charges.

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In February, U.S. District Judge Larry Burns cleared the way for release of the photos and records, saying Loughner's right to a fair trial was no longer an issue.

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