TUCSON, Ariz. — The federal judge killed in the Arizona shooting rampage was known for an immigration ruling that got him death threats, but on Friday he was remembered as a man devoted to his family, his basset hounds and his Irish-Catholic heritage.
U.S. District Judge John Roll had stopped by a supermarket meet-and-greet for Rep. Gabrielle Giffords on Jan. 7 when he was killed, along with five others. Giffords, recovering from a gunshot wound to the head, was still in critical condition, but progressing.
Roll’s funeral Friday came amid tight security, as police officers and SWAT team members patrolled the neighborhood around St. Elizabeth Ann Seton church. About a dozen coach buses brought judges who knew Roll over the years.
The speakers focused less on Judge Roll and more on John Roll, tender and at times goofy, and largely hidden from those he served.
“It made it very personal,” said Carol Bahill, 61, whose husband knew Roll from his undergraduate and law school days at the University of Arizona. “You do feel like you knew something about him personally.”
The news media were barred from the event at the request of Roll’s family and for security reasons.