Catholic Phoenix


Federal Judge Shot in Tucson After Attending Holy Mass That Morning

That's the story I've heard, and it fits with what I have heard about Judge John Roll before today. I had heard him speak this summer and was impressed by his intelligence and kindness. It isn't every federal judge that will take the time to address a group of law students.

His death in the Giffords shooting puzzled me. Why was he there? Was he a target?

From what I can gather at the moment, it sounds like it was an unfortunate—a tragic—coincidence.

A friend told me that he went to Mass Saturday morning, as it was his habit to do daily, and that he called his wife afterward. He told her that he had heard that Giffords was going to be at Safeway and that he wanted to stop by in order to congratulate her on her recent re-election. He was doing so to be civil.

Someone in the crowd was the opposite of civil, and Judge Roll was wounded fatally in the gunfire.

It is very sad that this man's civility and generosity of spirit ended up getting him killed. But he was with our Lord that morning, we're told. Let us pray confidently for the repose of his soul. Let us also pray for the comfort of his family.

Judge Roll, requiescat in pace.