TUCSON, Ariz. — John Roll was called a fair federal judge and a loving family man at his funeral. Now, some are also calling him a hero.
Surveillance footage of the Jan. 8 shooting rampage in Tucson showed that he used his body as a shield to cover an injured man. Roll then took a bullet to the back, and lost his life in the process.
"The judge is a hero," Pima County sheriff's Chief Rick Kastigar said.
Acts of heroism – the intern running toward a gravely wounded Rep. Gabrielle Giffords or the bystanders tackling the gunman – helped lift the spirits of a shocked nation soon after the shooting.
The ensuing days focused on Giffords' condition and the death of a 9-year-old girl born on Sept. 11, 2001.
The new details from the surveillance video showed the full extent of Roll's visit to the supermarket where Giffords was holding a meet-and-greet event with constituents.
Kastigar said he watched the first part of the surveillance video, which has been turned over to the FBI. The agency has declined to release it. Kastigar described the video's contents.
"You know, I've been a cop for three decades and I've seen some pretty traumatic and disturbing things, and this was very, very upsetting to watch this," Kastigar said.
The video showed Jared Loughner, 22, shooting the Democratic lawmaker in the forehead from several feet away, Kastigar said.
The video shows Loughner turning toward a group of people sitting in chairs, then stepping out of view. Kastigar said that's when Loughner indiscriminately fired at the seated group.
Loughner then shot Giffords aide, Ron Barber. Almost simultaneously, Roll moved Barber toward the ground and both crawled beneath a table, Kastigar said. Roll then got on top of Barber.
"Judge Roll is responsible for directing Mr. Barber out of the line of fire and helped save his life," Kastigar said.
It was not the only act of heroism that helped save Barber's life that day. Passerby Anna Ballis stanched his bleeding until paramedics arrived and rushed him to the hospital.
Roll and five others died in the attack. Barber was among 13 people shot and wounded.
Meanwhile, Giffords' family said she will be moved Friday to a rehabilitation hospital in Houston to begin the next phase of her recovery from the gunshot wound.
Doctors say the exact day of the move will depend on Giffords' health.