Amid recent mass shootings, Tucsonans await memorial for 2011 tragedy

Updated: Aug. 13, 2019 at 7:36 AM MST
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TUCSON, Ariz. (KOLD News 13) - As the communities of El Paso, Texas, and Dayton, Ohio, mourn following mass shootings earlier this month, Tucsonans are awaiting the completion of a memorial to honor those affected by a similar tragedy.

It has been eight years since six people were killed by a gunman who opened fire at a Congress on Your Corner event featuring Rep. Gabrielle Giffords at a northwest-side grocery store. Giffords was one of several people injured in the attack.

Since then, a foundation has raised money to build a memorial in the heart of downtown at El Presidio Park.

Crews broke ground earlier this year and although the goal was to finish it by the ninth anniversary, the county says it has faced some setbacks.

While digging, crews found archaeological artifacts that needed to be recorded for historical purposes. Crews also found utility lines that need to be rerouted.

People in Tucson said they are ready to have a place to cope and pay their respects to those affected by the shooting.

Tucsonan Jesus Silvas said he plans to bring his kids once it's complete.

“I would take my kids and let them see the difference between hate and love. Because there’s a lot of things out here, a lot of hateful things," he said.

Although the foundation raised the money for the project, Pima County is in charge of the actual construction process. It said the new completion date could be closer to summer or early fall 2020.

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