© 2024 WUKY
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

Arizona Gunman Acted Erratically Days Before Shooting, Documents Reveal

Jared Loughner, the gunman responsible for the 2011 rampage in Tucson, Ariz., that killed six people and wounded Rep. Gabrielle Giffords and 12 others, acted erratically in the days leading to the shooting but was quiet and otherwise polite with officers after his arrest, according to newly released documents.

Details from the investigation were made clear Wednesday after the Pima County Sheriff's Department released 2,700 pages of documents requested through the Freedom of Information Act.

Loughner's parents, who were interviewed by police shortly after the shooting, told officials that Pima College, where Jared had attended, asked them to take away his shotgun.

Jared's father, Randy Loughner, took the shotgun and kept it in the trunk of a car in the garage, along with "an old antique gun I've had for 30 years," he told deputies.

His mother, Amy Loughner, told authorities that her son never received the mental health evaluation recommended by Pima officials when they expelled him, she said.

"His behavior is not normal," she said, describing Jared "having conversations with himself" and "making all kinds of noises."

Both parents were interviewed by investigators on Jan. 8, 2011, shortly after the shooting.

The documents also reveal that Loughner left a phone message with a friend to thank him the night before the shootings took place: "Hey. It's, this is Jared. Um, I had some very good times. And peace out. Later."

After his arrest, Loughner told authorities he was the lone shooter: "I just want you to know that I'm the only person that knew about this," he told a deputy.

"That was the only thing, pretty much, that he said to me almost all day," the deputy writes.

The Associated Press writes that:

"Giffords intern Daniel Hernandez described how constituents and others were lining up to see Giffords that morning. He helped people sign in and recalled handing the sheet on a clipboard to Loughner.

" 'The next thing I hear is someone yell, "Gun," ' said Hernandez, who rushed to tend to Giffords' gunshot wound to the head.

" 'She couldn't open her eyes. I tried to get any responses from her. Um, it looked like her left side was the only side that was still mobile,' Hernandez told authorities. 'She couldn't speak. It was mumbled. She was squeezing my hand.' "

Copyright 2021 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Scott Neuman is a reporter and editor, working mainly on breaking news for NPR's digital and radio platforms.