Jared Lee Loughner: What Is Known about Tucson, Arizona, Shooting Suspect

By Grier, Peter | The Christian Science Monitor, January 1, 2011 | Go to article overview

Jared Lee Loughner: What Is Known about Tucson, Arizona, Shooting Suspect


Grier, Peter, The Christian Science Monitor


Jared Lee Loughner is refusing to tell investigators anything about a motive for the Tucson, Arizona, shooting, but he appears to be a familiar character in American life: a disturbed outsider with a gun.

Jared Lee Loughner, the man charged in the Tucson, Arizona, shooting spree that left six people dead and Rep. Gabrielle Giffords gravely wounded, appears to be the kind of person with which Americans have become all too familiar in recent decades: the disturbed outsider with grievances and a gun.

Mr. Loughner himself has made no comment on the reasons for his alleged actions on Saturday, according to local law enforcement officials. He has not said a word to investigators since being taken into custody, said Pima County Sheriff Clarence Dupnik in a broadcast interview Monday.

But the emerging portrait of the 22-year-old suspect shows him as someone whose grip on reality became increasingly tenuous in recent years as he espoused wild philosophical beliefs and was expelled from community college for bizarre behavior.

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"This individual is a very troubled individual, and he's a typical troubled individual who's a loner," said Sheriff Dupnik on ABC's "Good Morning America."

Loughner was scheduled to make his first court appearance on Monday at 4 p.m. Eastern Standard Time. Officials said they were still working to appoint an attorney to represent him. They said one option is San Diego attorney Judy Clarke, who served on the teams that defended Oklahoma City federal building bomber Timothy McVeigh and "Unabomber" Ted Kaczynski.

At this point little is known about Loughner's home life or youth. He lives with his parents in a middle-class neighborhood in southern Arizona. His mother, Amy Loughner, works for Tucson's Parks Department. The employment history of his father Randy Loughner remains unknown.

The younger Loughner attended Mountain View High School in Tucson. He began taking classes at Pima Community College in 2005, according to a news release from the school.

In 2007, he apparently had contact with Representative Giffords. According to court documents, he received a letter from her office thanking him for attending a "Congress on Your Corner" event that year. Giffords was holding a similar event on Saturday when she was shot.

In 2010, Loughner's behavior at community college began to attract the attention of the school's authorities. Between February and September of last year he had five contacts with police for classroom or library disruptions, according to a statement from the school. …

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