Ron Barber Talks About Returning To Work for Congresswoman Giffords: "I'm Really Confident, Having Seen Her, That She's Going To Be Back to as Close to 100 Percent as She Can Get"

Before the rampage: Ron Barber (left) with Gabe Zimmerman, who was slain on Jan. 8, and Giffords spokesman C.J. Karamargin
  • Photo courtesy of Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords' office
  • Before the rampage: Ron Barber (left) with Gabe Zimmerman, who was slain on Jan. 8, and Giffords spokesman C.J. Karamargin

Ron Barber is ready to go back to work at Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords’ office.

“I just can’t wait to be back and be alongside a great staff of amazing group of people,” says Barber, the district director who was shot twice on Jan. 8 when a gunman opened fire at a Congress on Your Corner event. “I’ve been wanting to get back almost since I got out of the hospital. I had unrealistic expectations that I could be back in a month or less and that was obviously not the case, so I’m learning how to be patient with it.”

Barber, whose first day back on the job will be Tuesday, July 5, says he’s on a “short leash” from his doctor, who has told him he can only work four hours a day.

But it’s still an important step for the 65-year-old Barber, who was nearly killed on Jan. 8. One bullet passed through his cheek and out the back of his neck; the other hit him in the upper thigh. It was only the expert work of surgeons at UMC’s trauma center that saved him from having his left leg amputated.

Six people were killed in the shooting, including Gabe Zimmerman, who had worked closely with Barber in the congressional office for four years, and U.S. District Court Judge John Roll.

Another 13 were wounded, including Giffords, who is still recovering in Houston after being shot in the head.

Barber was in Yuma yesterday for the dedication of a new federal courthouse that will bear Roll’s name.

Barber had high praise for Roll at the ceremony. He first met Roll when they were both involved in campus politics in the mid-’60s. While they later fell out of touch, they reconnected when Giffords asked Barber to reach out to the federal judiciary.

“He was the real deal,” Barber says. “Nothing phony about him. I just wish he could have been here today to see the groundbreaking.”