Arizona Victim Gabe Zimmerman: 'Devoted His Life To Social Work'

January 10, 2011

Mark Memmott

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Gabe Zimmerman was known "as a conciliator with a deft touch when it came to working with difficult or angry people," Morning Edition's Steve Inskeep noted earlier.

But the flag at the U.S. Capitol has been flown at half-staff to honor the 30-year-old community outreach director for Rep. Gabrielle Giffords (D-AZ). He was one of six people killed Saturday by a gunman who went on a shooting rampage at an event Giffords was holding in Tucson. Another 14 people were wounded.

Zimmerman, who was engaged to be married, "devoted his life to social work and public service and helping people," a high school friend tells NPR:

Ross Zimmerman, the young man's father, tells ABC News he hopes people remember his son, who had "a real knack for connecting with people."

Giffords' spokesman, C.J. Karamargin, tells the Los Angeles Times that Zimmerman "put his all into his work, he put his all into his life."

"Gabe was unfailingly patient with people. He presided over thousands of constituent cases," Karamargin tells the Times. "He was helping World War II vets get medals, people with Medicare benefits, veterans with benefits issues. These are the types of things day-in and day-out he did, and he was determined to just do the best he could. He worked hard, he really worked hard." Copyright 2011 National Public Radio. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.