TUCSON - A federal grand jury in has indicted Jared Loughner, the chief suspect in shooting of 19 people in Tucson on Jan. 8, on three counts in the attack.
Loughner is accused of shooting 19 people, including Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, at a public event. Six of those people died.
"Today, the Grand Jury returned an initial three-count indictment against Jared Lee Loughner in the Tucson shooting case. We are in the early stages of this ongoing investigation. We have made considerable progress in a short period of time," U.S. Attorney Dennis K. Burke said in a press release.
"This case also involves potential death-penalty charges, and Department rules require us to pursue a deliberate and thorough process. Today's charges are just the beginning of our legal action. We are working diligently to ensure that our investigation is thorough and that justice is done for the victims and their families."
The indictment alleges that Loughner, 22, of Tucson, attempted to assassinate Rep. Gabrielle Giffords and attempted to murder two federal employees, Ron Barber and Pamela Simon. Loughner will face state charges for the victims who were not federal employees.
A conviction for the attempted assassination of a Member of Congress carries a maximum penalty of life in prison, a $250,000 fine or both. A conviction for attempted murder of a federal employee carries a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison, a $250,000 fine or both.