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Dad told cops Loughner 'doesn't seem right lately'
Thursday - 3/28/2013, 3:04am EDT
The Associated Press
TUCSON, Ariz. (AP) -- Major findings on the Jan. 8, 2011, attack on former Rep. Gabrielle Giffords gleaned from about 2,700 pages of documents released Wednesday, including survivor accounts, police reports and interviews with friends and family of gunman Jared Loughner:
Amy Loughner described her son's run-ins with authorities, use of marijuana and cocaine and increasingly erratic behavior. She said a drug test turned up negative. Randy Loughner said his son became more and more difficult, and it was a challenge to have a rational conversation: "I tried to talk to him. But you can't, he wouldn't let you. ... Lost, lost, and just didn't want to communicate with me no more." Randy Loughner said his son "just doesn't seem right lately."
TALKED TO SELF
Despite the bizarre behavior and his school's recommendation he undergo a mental health evaluation, the parents didn't seek help. Loughner, who was ultimately diagnosed with schizophrenia, often talked to himself in the year before the shooting and even laughed during the conversations, which weren't angry or about hurting anyone, his mother said. "And sometimes he would look like he was having a conversation with someone right there. Be talking to someone. I don't know how to explain it. I don't."
Hours after the shooting, Randy Loughner mentioned a video that caused Pima Community College to expel his son. "They didn't like his video. 'Cause, he's always, his First Amendment rights. He's, uh, he's too intelligent. You know? And they, and it, and they, they dismissed him from school. Told him he needed to go see, seek medical help to come back to school. ... He felt that the pigs were out to get him."
FIRED FROM JOB
The father considered his son's firing as a salesman at an Eddie Bauer store to be a turning point: "He just wasn't the same. He just, nothing, nothing worked, seem to go right for him."
Loughner bought a 12-gauge shotgun in 2008, but his parents took it away from him after he was expelled.
One-time Loughner friend Zachary Osler was an employee at a store where Loughner bought a Glock 9 mm handgun with a 15-round magazine in November 2010. Loughner had a military style haircut and cleared all background checks. He used a Visa card to pay the $559 for the gun and a box of ammo.
GUN STORE JOB
Osler remembered Loughner coming into the gun store on at least two occasions in the previous year, including once to apply for a job, for which he was denied. Osler said hello during one of the visits, but Loughner didn't acknowledge or look at him and just continued onward.
Osler told investigators he had grown uncomfortable with Loughner's personality. "He would say he could dream and then control what he was doing while he was dreaming."
Osler told investigators Loughner's parents drank heavily and he didn't get along with his father. "A lot of the times I'd be over there his dad would be yellin' at him about whatever. Kind of a somewhat hostile environment. I never really felt comfortable over there," Osler said.
PISTOL IN WAIST
A few weeks before the shooting, Loughner showed up at the apartment of boyhood friend Anthony Kuck with a 9 mm pistol in his waistband. Loughner said he bought the gun for Christmas for "home protection." Kuck's roommate, Derek Heintz, said Loughner left a bullet as a souvenir. Kuck said he had seen Loughner deteriorate over time: problems with drinking in high school, trouble with police, being kicked out of college, then showing up with a shaved head, bullet tattoos on his shoulder and a gun. "I just know his personality is not normal."
On the day of the shooting, friend Bryce Tierney told investigators that Loughner had called him early in the morning and left a cryptic voicemail 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 tried to call back, but it was a restricted number that didn't register on his phone.
A wildlife agent pulled Loughner over that morning for a traffic violation. He cried and said, "I've just had a rough time," and then composed himself, thanked the agent and shook his hand after he was let go with a warning. The agent asked Loughner again if he was OK, and Loughner said he was going home.