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Records provide new look at Arizona shooting spree
Mental health » Jared Loughner’s parents and friends were alarmed by his delusional behavior.


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Loughner then left Heintz with a souvenir — one bullet.

His parents grew alarmed over his behavior on several occasions — at one point submitting him to drug-testing. The results were negative, said Amy Loughner, who was particularly worried that her son might have been using methamphetamine.

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The father said his son kept journals, but they were written in an indecipherable script. Loughner bought a 12-gauge shotgun in 2008, but his parents took it away from him after he was expelled from college and administrators recommended he not own weapons.

On the day of the shooting, he and his father got in an argument, and he chased Jared Loughner away from their house. Friend Bryce Tierney told investigators Loughner called him early in the morning that day and left a cryptic voice mail that he believed was suicidal.

"He just said, ‘Hey, this is Jared. Um, we had some good times together. Uh, see you later.’ And that’s it," Tierney said.

Onetime Loughner friend Zachary Osler explained how he worked at a sporting goods store where Loughner bought the handgun used in the shooting. He was questioned about seeing Loughner shopping there sometime before Thanksgiving and described an awkward encounter with the man.

"His response is nothing. Just a mute facial expression. And just like he, he didn’t care," Osler told authorities.

News organizations seeking the records were denied access in the months after the shooting and the arrest of Loughner, who was sentenced in November to seven consecutive life sentences, plus 140 years, after he pleaded guilty to 19 federal charges.

Last month, U.S. District Judge Larry Burns cleared the way for the release of the records after Star Publishing Company, which publishes the Arizona Daily Star in Tucson, joined by Phoenix Newspapers Inc., which publishes The Arizona Republic, and KPNX-TV, sought their release. The judge said Loughner’s fair-trial rights were no longer on the line now that his criminal case has resolved.

Loughner’s guilty plea enabled him to avoid the death penalty. He is serving his sentence at a federal prison medical facility in Springfield, Mo., where he was diagnosed with schizophrenia and forcibly given psychotropic drug treatments to make him fit for trial.


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Loughner’s attorney, Judy Clarke, didn’t return a call seeking comment Wednesday. There was no listed telephone phone number for Randy and Amy Loughner.

Arizona’s chief federal judge and a 9-year-old girl were among those killed in the rampage. Giffords was left partially blind, with a paralyzed right arm and brain injury. She resigned from Congress last year.

Giffords’ intern Daniel Hernandez described how people were lining up to see Giffords on the morning of the shooting. 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. 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."

Hernandez explained how he had some training as a nurse and first checked for a pulse.

"She was still breathing. Her breathing was getting shallower," he said. "I then lifted her up so that she wasn’t flat on the ground."

When he was arrested at the scene, Loughner was wearing peach-colored foam earplugs and had two loaded magazines in his left front pocket for the Glock he used in the shootings.

Hours later, he was polite and cooperative as detectives began their initial interview.

As Loughner sat in restraints in an interview room, the conversation was confined mainly to small talk. Little was said over the first four hours. Loughner asked if he could use the restroom, then at one point complained he felt sore.

"I’m about ready to fall over," he said.

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