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Suspect in Giffords Shooting Had a History of Troubling Behavior

3 years ago
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Jared Loughner, the 22-year-old suspect accused of shooting Rep. Gabrielle Giffords in a rampage that killed six people and wounded more than a dozen others, had a history of troubling behavior that surfaced in rambling postings on his MySpace page, YouTube videos and classes he attended at Pima Community College in Tucson.
One of his videos prompted college officials to suspend him and tell his parents that he would have to get a mental health evaluation if he wanted to return to school, according to the New York Times. Loughner attended Pima from the summer of 2005 until October when he withdrew after his suspension.
Loughner tried to enlist in the Army in 2008 and took a physical. But First Sgt. Brian Homme, a Tucson recruiter, told the Arizona Daily Star that he was rejected as unqualified. Citing confidentiality rules, the Army did not make public its reasons.
Jared LoughnerOfficials said that Loughner so far is not cooperating with their investigation.

Caitlin Parker, a former friend of Loughner, told ABC News that Loughner had once met Giffords.

"As I knew him more and more after high school, he got a little bit more odd," Parker said. "I mean, he was obsessed with the 2012 prophecy. I mean, he met Gabrielle Giffords once in '07 and told me he asked her some question that made absolutely no sense to me, but he said, 'I can't believe she doesn't understand it. Politicians just don't get it.'"

The federal complaint filed Sunday containing the charges against Loughner said that investigators found a letter from Giffords in a safe at Loughner's house thanking him for attending one of her "Congress on Your Corner" meetings in 2007. The complaint added: "Also recovered in the safe was an enveloped with handwriting on the envelope stating 'I planned ahead,' and 'My assassination' and the name 'Giffords' along with what appears to be Loughner's signature." (See a copy of the complaint here).

At college, Loughner "disrupted class frequently with nonsensical outbursts," according to Lynda Sorenson, who told the Daily Star she once took a math class with him.
Another former classmate of Loughner's, Lydian Ali, told the Star, that Loughner would frequently laugh aloud to himself during an advanced poetry class that they took.
Loughner's writings and videos, which were mostly blocks of text, ranged from what appeared to be grievances against the college to disconnected thoughts on mind control and establishing a new currency.
"This video is my introduction to you!" said one white type-on-black-background screen from a YouTube video. "My favorite activity is conscience dreaming; the greatest inspiration for my political business information. Some of you don't dream – sadly."
Tommy Marriotti, a high school friend of Loughner, told the Daily Star that "conscience dreaming" – trying to manipulate your dreams – was an interest that Loughner had pursued.
(Loughner's original YouTube postings are no longer available on the website but others have reposted them, and the content of this one is consistent with published accounts of others who viewed them).
In the video he described as his introduction, Loughner said, " The current government officials are in power for their currency! If you're treasurer of a new money system, then you're responsible for the distributing of a new currency. We now know – the treasurer for a new money system, is the distributor of the new currency. As a result, the people approve a new money system which is promising new information that's accurate, and we truly believe in a new currency. Above all, have your new currency, listener?"
In another posting, he said, "I won't pay debt with a currency that's not backed by gold and silver."
In a video that appeared to reflect grievances he felt about Pima Community College, Loughner said, "If I'm not receiving the purchase from a payment then I'm a victim of fraud."
Loughner's MySpace page listed his favorite books as "Animal Farm," "Brave New World," "The Wizard of Oz, " "Aesop's Fables," "The Odyssey," "Alice's Adventures in Wonderland," "Fahrenheit 451," "Peter Pan," "To Kill a Mockingbird," "We the Living," "Phantom Toll Booth," "Siddhartha, "The Old Man and the Sea," "Gulliver's Travels," "Mein Kampf," "The Republic" and "Meno."

One of Loughner's last postings on MySpace reportedly was titled "Good-bye, Friends" and said: "Dear friends, please don't be mad at me."
Filed Under: Arizona Shooting

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213 Comments

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fredglynn3

There's nothing scary about his reading list. In fact, it's really quite impressive.

January 15 2011 at 10:42 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
daywash123

He killed 6 people, he admits he did it. There are hundreds of witnesses. Let's give him his right to a speedy trial. You'd put down a mad dog, wouldn't you?

January 15 2011 at 5:46 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Ms. Corrine

This guy appears to me to be plain and simple EVIL. He knew exactly what he was doing and in his right mind when he did it. All those warning sounds and nobody did anything about him, BS. His parents may have been afraid of him but they would have did something if his acting out was that extreme.
I believe there are extremely EVIL people in this world and you all blame it on mental illness.
That guy is plain old EVIL.

January 15 2011 at 12:50 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
jjboxer01211

well as a psychiatrist it is interesting to me that nobody as i understand it encouraged this former student to seek a psychiatric evaluation he was asked to obtain one if he wished to return to school correct me if i am wrong on this point there are those who would say "well he is an adult we do not contact families" well if one of my three children acted in such a bizarre manner i would hope someone would contact me it is obvious that he is delusional although some of his comments are not bizarre ie a currency should be connected to gold for example with all these people watching his video on the net should not anyone take responsibility for what is shown his video is not the first to be removed the problem with our society or i should say one of the problems is that NOONE wants to take responsibility for their actions

January 14 2011 at 9:07 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
Joy

There is no such thing as "conscience dreaming." The term CONSCIOUS dreaming refers to lucid dreaming simply means knowing while dreaming that you ARE dreaming. Most of us experience this spontaneously at times, but few people make an effort to develop the ability to consciously influence a dream as it happens.

January 14 2011 at 2:56 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Joy

When I see the mug shot of Loughner, I see the face of insanity. It seems obvious that he is a paranoid schizophrenic, one of many who "fall through the cracks" in our mental health system and one of the few whose behavior turns violent. Specific triggers for the shooting? We may or may not ever learn precisely what they are, but I suspect one important aspect was his mistrust of "government" in general and his expressed interest in anarchy. This is where all of the anti-government rhetoric and demonstrations in recent months may have fed his illness and focused his paranoia. This is where some of the right-wing extremists bear a portion of the responsibility for the tragic event in Tucson. We need to respect and honor our elected public servants instead of angrily and loudly attacking and demonizing those with whom we disagree.

January 14 2011 at 2:30 AM Report abuse -1 rate up rate down Reply
bkim23

When an unthinkable tragedies occur, we are so quick to judge, blame the system and point fingers at everyone and in all directions. This is not the time to display your personal agendas, but rather to come together as citizens, all political parties, and the nation.

I hope we can learn from this heinous act and not to promote hate, violence, and that you can agree to disagree. Political views are just your political views. It should not be a reason to harm others. Also, it certainly must not be used as a pretentious tool to further our beliefs. Which in some cases---- in the wrong ill minded people----they will grossly deviate.

Let's not forget what happened. It's a somber reality for all of us.

January 10 2011 at 1:11 PM Report abuse +5 rate up rate down Reply
Lonamari

I don't know what the mental health facility situation is in other states, but in Michigan, under former governor John Engler's administration, he systematically closed state mental hospitals until there was no place left for the mentally ill to be sent except private mental facilities which require that you have medical insurance. Since a huge segment of our population has no medical insurance that pretty much prevents us from having somewhere those people can go when in need of that kind of help. The govenor granted tax cuts left and right, leaving insufficient funds to maintain these hospitals, pave roads, provide for art museums, libraries, etc. Nobody wants to pay taxes but it is generally the way a civilized society provides for public works for the community. After a person turns 18 it's true that it's very difficult for family and friends to get them to get help unless they do so of their own volition. A sick person doesn't always know they need help and frequently won't accept help or take their meds. This leaves the rest of us vulnerable to their violence. No one could have been guaranteed to have prevented this so why do we blame the people, schools etc. who had to deal with him. Those who have ever worked serving the public are painfully aware of these facts. The same people who are anti choice are usually the same people who don't want to fund social services to help feed, clothe and house unwanted children, The people who want their taxes lowered are possibly the ones who complain someone should have gotten this young man help, yet probably are against the health care program being proposed. I'm rambling because all of this is so frustrating to watch. Wake up people it does take a whole village, nothing in life is free, including mental health care. When you go to vote on taxes, health care, etc. try to remember your outrage at this young man not getting any help.

January 10 2011 at 1:02 PM Report abuse +3 rate up rate down Reply
jbumonkey

go to any high school or community college today and you'll find dozens + just like this kid. the difference is he took it to the next level of crazy and they haven't yet. the point being is with freedom you have to tolerate harmless crazyiness. it's a risk but part of the system. you can't lock up and mental stable every kid who does odd things and rants and raves about govt and currency and grammar. no matter how crazy it is. until he did what he did yesterday there was nothing that could have been done to stop this...except private security for the event...funded by the official's budget....so no new spending needs to be done. house of reps already get a nice budget and they can choose to do with it somewhat and they can certainly spend it on private security. i don't blame rep. gifford though...i would have made the same mistake and so would you...no one thinks a nutcase will try to kill them. lesson to be learned here is private security for these kinds of events. most crazies are cowards this one included, and them knowing a show of force exists...will deter them from trying. won't stop them all, but will stop more than you'd think.

January 10 2011 at 12:42 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
Casey

Is anyone looking at the parents here? They were, at least once, notified that this man had mental health issues. So even if they were totally oblivious to his changes, they were warned. Did they do anything to get him help before this tragedy? This to me seems like a typical case of a schizophrenic. Most symptoms start to show up around college age, and from what I have read, this seems like a classic case. Such a shame that those people had to die. They and their families are in my prayers.

January 10 2011 at 12:12 PM Report abuse +8 rate up rate down Reply
3 replies to Casey's comment

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