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Giffords' breathing tube removed; shooting victim arrested at forum

Doctors on Saturday removed Rep. Gabrielle Giffords' breathing tube and could soon know if she can speak.

Giffords had an operation Saturday to replace the breathing tube with a tracheotomy tube in her windpipe. That allows her to breathe better and frees her from the ventilator.

Though Giffords had been breathing on her own since she was shot in the head Jan. 8, doctors had left the breathing tube in as a precaution. A feeding tube was also put in to provide nutrition. Those procedures are not out of the ordinary for brain-injured patients.

Giffords' doctors have said they should be able to evaluate her ability to speak once the breathing tube is out.

Giffords, who was wounded in last weekend's attack that killed six people, remains in critical condition at University Medical Center.

"Her recovery continues as planned," the hospital said in a statement.

Her husband, astronaut Mark Kelly, has remained by her bedside.

One patient was discharged Saturday while two others remain in good condition.

In other developments:

* One of the Arizona shooting victims was arrested Saturday and then taken for a psychiatric evaluation after authorities said he took a picture of a tea party leader at a televised town hall meeting and yelled: "you're dead."

James Eric Fuller, 63, objected to something Trent Humphries said during the forum taped for a special edition of ABC's "This Week" with Christiane Amanpour, Pima County sheriff's spokesman Jason Ogan said. Fuller was in the front row and apparently became upset when Humphries suggested that any conversations about gun control should be delayed until all the dead were buried, KGUN-TV in Tucson reported.

Fuller was arrested on misdemeanor disorderly conduct and threat charges, Ogan said. While Fuller was being escorted out, deputies decided he needed a mental health evaluation and he was taken to a hospital, where he remained Saturday evening.

* Pima Community College released a video in response to a Los Angeles Times public records request that shows suspected shooter Jared L. Loughner, 22, giving an improvised nighttime campus tour and rambling about free speech and the Constitution.

Loughner's voice provides an angry narration that includes statments such as, "I'm gonna be homeless because of this school," and calling Pima "a genocide school."

College officials confirmed that the video, discovered on YouTube, led them to suspend Loughner from school Sept. 29.

* In a somber ceremony, the Safeway store where last week's shooting occurred reopened. The crowd grew until about 100 were present. Shortly after 10 a.m., about a dozen employees filed outside, arms entwined. Shayne Spude shook with sobs as she faced the make-shift memorial at the shooting site. She had been near the front of the store when the shooting happened and had rushed outside. She grabbed hold of her co-workers. Together, they bowed their heads.

"We saw the darkest side of life that you can ever imagine," said one of the workers, Dawn Gallagher, 53.

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