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Arizona legislator to introduce bill to make Tucson shooting memorial a national shrine

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A memorial planned to honor the victims and survivors of a Tucson shooting that targeted U.S. Rep. Gabby Giffords could become part of the National Park Service.

U.S. Rep Martha McSally (R-Ariz.) planned to introduce legislation Friday to make the January 8th memorial in Tucson a permanent national memorial.

Should legislation pass, the memorial would become an affiliated area of the park service.

The concept for the site, near the Pima County Courthouse in El Presidio Park, was unveiled in late 2015.

Nearly three dozen members of Congress wrote President Barack Obama asking for support of the memorial in September 2016. U.S. Sens. John McCain and Jeff Flake of Arizona wrote the Interior Department last fall asking for support in creating a permanent memorial.

The January 8th Memorial was expected to be completed in 2018.

Giffords was one of 19 people shot — six fatally — Jan. 8, 2011, during a meet-and-greet political event at a supermarket.

Giffords was struck in the head by a bullet and nearly died.

The shooter, Jared Loughner, was sentenced to life in prison.

January 8th Memorial Foundation Board President Dorothy Kret said the national designation would recognize that the shooting affected people outside of the Tucson community.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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