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Giffords aide's wife recalls: 'Your husband has been shot'

By the CNN Wire Staff
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Arizona shooting victim recounts chaos
  • Giffords aide's wife almost didn't pick up call saying her husband had been shot
  • Ron Barber says his wounds are healing well, but he can't feel in his ankle
  • He says he can recall shooting in vivid detail

(CNN) -- Nancy Barber was just heading out the door to do some grocery shopping when the phone rang.

She briefly thought about letting it go.

"I picked it up and there was a very calm voice on the other side asking, 'Are you Nancy Barber? Ron Barber's wife?'"

"There's been an accident," Nancy Barber recalled the woman on the other end saying. "Your husband's been shot."

"It's the incident you hope will never happen," she told CNN's American Morning Friday in an appearance with her husband, the district director for U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords.

Ron Barber was one of 13 people wounded when a gunman attacked his boss at a January 8 constituent meeting outside a Tucson grocery store.

Six people died.

Federal prosecutors have charged Jared Lee Loughner, 22, in the shootings.

Nancy Barber said she finished the call and rushed to the hospital uncertain of her husband's condition. The woman who called said only, "He's still with us."

"Saying someone is 'still with us' is pretty scary, not knowing exactly what that means," she said.

Barber was shot in the face and the leg.

Healing now and home, wearing a small square bandage on his cheek and a blue boot on his left leg, Barber said the wounds to his face and groin are healing well. But he said he continues to have no feeling in his ankle.

Barber -- who said he's eager to return to work despite the violence he endured -- said he remembers the events in vivid detail.

"I was standing right next to her when the gunman came past on my left and raised his gun and shot the congresswoman in the head," he said. "I don't think I knew anything was happening until I saw him come past me and almost immediately he fired his gun and then he swept his gun around shooting as he did."

Barber said he fell next to Giffords. She was on the ground with her back to him.

"There was no time to react," he said. "I wish there had been."