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.
Officials 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."