Fox News' Megyn Kelly debated Sheriff Clarence Dupnik, the man leading the investigation into the shooting in Arizona, about the sheriff's recent comments about what he saw as the "vitriol" in political and media discourse that had contributed to the incident, in which six, including a federal judge, have died, and Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords was shot.
Dupnik appeared on a special Sunday edition of "America Live." Kelly asked about the suspected shooter, Jared Lee Loughner, and what his motives might be. Was there something, she asked, about Giffords that "set [Loughner] off?"
"There are a whole lot of people in this country who are very angry about the politics of people like Gabrielle," Dupnik said. "There was a lot of vitriolic statements made night and day on radio and TV about her support of health care, about her support of some of the other things, and some of the vitriol got .... a lot of people agitated. But you took the words out of my mouth...you're talking about irrational behavior here."
Kelly asked if there was anything the sheriff had discovered in his investigation that suggested that Loughner was "listening to radio or watching television and was in any way inspired by what he heard or saw?"
Dupnik said that he did not yet have any such evidence, but that the investigation had only just begun.
Kelly said she was wondering if it was the right time for Dupnik to be, in her words, "injecting speculative opinion" about the case. He replied that he thought that the issue had to be raised. "Free speech is free speech but it's not without consequences," he said. But Kelly pressed him further. "With respect, sheriff, I know that you're a Democrat and you ran for office as a Democrat, and I just want to press you on that a little. I'm sure some of our viewers are asking themselves why you are putting a political spin on this when they may be asking why you the sheriff aren't just focused on the facts, on uncovering the facts," she said.
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