Suspect Jared Lee Loughner's former teacher: 'I was scared of what he could do'
The Arizona shooting suspect's former teacher Ben McGahee spoke to CNN about previous concerns about Jared Lee Lougner's behavior.
January 10th, 2011
08:46 AM ET

Suspect Jared Lee Loughner's former teacher: 'I was scared of what he could do'

Ben McGahee, Jared Lee Loughner's former teacher at Pima Community College spoke to CNN's Kiran Chetry about how he believed Loughner was a troubled man.

McGahee recalled how Loughner's classmates described strange behavior that made them uncomfortable.

McGahee notified campus administration and the dean about his concerns and ultimately removed Loughner from his class permanently.

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soundoff (19 Responses)
  1. Joshua Ludd

    Now, maybe I am wrong here... but I thought if you had reason to believe someone was a danger to themselves or to others they could be detained for up to 36 hours for a psych evaluation. We heard this after Virginia Tech... we are hearing it again... why are people not getting any help to protect them from themselves or to protect others from them????

    January 10, 2011 at 11:01 am | Report abuse |
  2. Richard in Texas

    If I am not mistaken he was sent to be evaluated after the incident and was found not to a threat.

    January 10, 2011 at 11:41 am | Report abuse |
    • coyote50

      If he was evaluated, usually they don't get others involved in the evaluation and someone who is sick frequently doesn't know they are sick. It's a failing of our system that we don't require that these evaluations include family members and others who have interaction with the person. I know this, sadly, from experience.

      January 10, 2011 at 2:40 pm | Report abuse |
  3. brian d

    Ok some new news now u freaks

    January 10, 2011 at 11:52 am | Report abuse |
  4. madeline murphy

    As a mother of a son with mental health concerns. Spend the money on the people. I was desperate for help for my child. After 10 yrs. fighting with ins. company's ect. They closed the hospitals but did not replace it with proper aftercare. It was HELL trying to get him the help he needed. Through NAMI. I found out about a program that has made a great difference for him and us as a family.BUT I HAD TO MOVE TO ANOTHER STATE TO GET IT. In america it should not be that way. My upset about this is, every State does not have it. Why not? It is called the aggressive community treatment program (ACT) It has been around for at least 18 years I believe it started in Wisconsin with results in the 90%. I recommed instead of talking about carrying guns and having body guards . Every State should have this program .and the ones that have it keep it funded more. The difference in those who need it will be worth it. Because they are worth it.

    January 10, 2011 at 12:07 pm | Report abuse |
    • coyote50

      Madeline – my heart goes out to you. I too have a mentally ill son. It has been hell getting help for him all these years. And now that he is over 18, there is little that I can do. We tried to get him evaluated, but since he was over 18, they wouldn't or couldn't talk to us about the evaluation and I can imagine what he told them, because they found he was "fine". It's a real shame that our great country can't come up with a way to help those who are going over the edge. People always want to blame the parents or family members or others in the community who saw that the person was unstable, but those of us with mentally ill kids and relatives know what the real problem is - there are very few services available unless the person does something illegal, and then they lock him up. It's a sad state of affairs.

      January 10, 2011 at 2:33 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Philip

    There are literally thousands of mental health care professionals whom refuse to give your disturbed child drugs that have side-effect warnings like "these drugs are for short-term use only. Any long-term use will result in permanent brain damage". And they realize 'cookie-cutter' programs are for profit just like Jenny Craig weight-loss programs. You DONT want your kid on a yo-yo program.These therapists charge very little for their services, and their ono-on-one approach works. Don't just have your kid medicated. Spend the time and effort necessarry to help them, not just the money afforded by insurance.

    January 10, 2011 at 1:18 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Garang

    i dnt understand how things work in our today Society, i think parents need to teach their Children very carefully to stay frm dangerous groups.

    January 10, 2011 at 5:10 pm | Report abuse |
  7. polishmillrite

    This is what happens when you close the asylums. When they closed them all the messed-up people were let loose. Now it's almost impossible get someone committed before they hurt sombody or themselves. Once they do cause harm, then everybody says, "Yeah, I knew they were messed up."

    January 10, 2011 at 5:54 pm | Report abuse |
  8. 2100

    Did u see his mug photo, he smiled 4 the camera – this guy is F***ED in the head – he's a piece of CRAP ! !.....

    January 10, 2011 at 6:40 pm | Report abuse |
  9. karen

    Surprise obama is not getting blame 4 this...afterall he's blame for everything else that happens in this corrupted world....

    January 10, 2011 at 8:06 pm | Report abuse |
  10. taz


    January 11, 2011 at 12:21 am | Report abuse |
  11. Sadiehyde

    @Karen: While I agree his actions are completely reprehensible and totally inexusable, I take exemption to your comment which I'm interpreting to mean 'he's crazy, he's a piece of crap' – incidences of violence by mentally ill persons are so rare as to be barely statistically significant. Add in drugs or alcohol, however, and the propensity for violence goes way up. This however, is true whether someone is mentally ill or not.
    States have been cutting health care for years, and the 1st thing to get chopped, is any remaining mental health services. I work as an RN in large psych hospital right outside NYC and we get pts from all over NJ and many from NYC. There simply is no place for them to go. Setting up aftercare very difficult bc so many programs cut every month till there's just the very bare bones left. The mentally ill, often veterans, very often homeless, are truly America's forgotten children. Sadly it's very much 'out of sight, out of mind.'
    Should the shooter have been helped sooner? If it turns out he is genuinely mentally ill then yes, of course. It's easy for many pts to present well during the mandatory screening hold and then upon release, return to their normal behavior. The government owes it's people more than this.

    January 11, 2011 at 2:12 am | Report abuse |
  12. cynthia bostain

    Dont we as a society have the responsibility to tell the proper authorities that someone might be a threat to people like the teacher who said Jared scared him , as parents how do you not know your child is mentally unstable, and get the proper care for them . It is not just the people in his life , it is much more than that it is the the gun law that is not properly enforced mental status should be part of screening, If Jared slipped through the cracks it is the people in his life and our current gun law who allowed it . How many lives need to be lost before we do something !

    January 11, 2011 at 2:29 am | Report abuse |
  13. really?

    OK, we need to make the distinctions between mental handicap and anti-social behavior. Clearly this douch is psychotic but he is by no mean mentally disable. Not sure how his defense attorney will handle his defense, but that's what America is all about or should be about: "law abiding and seeking justice", even for the guilty. The America I used to admire was all about the liberty to have different views and not about suppressing the views of others. If you believe differently, you really are not Americans. Have you ever watched the chaoses going on in the middle east and asked yourselves "are we any different?". Your answers should tell you a lot about yourselves.

    Have we became a nation so plagued with hatred that we are ready to turn the clocks back 50-70 years? Should we more scared of the terrorism born in America than from those manufactured from the outside of our country. Think about it: which have a higher level of falities- America-born terrorist acts or outside attacks?

    January 11, 2011 at 6:28 am | Report abuse |
  14. Jackie

    This Arizona incident makes health care come to the forefront. It can identify future mentally ill persons. If this killer had been required to have health care, it is highly likely that he could have been identified. Health care is very necessary for to identify mental health issues.
    Health care is essential.

    January 11, 2011 at 8:14 am | Report abuse |
  15. john la rue

    A few nights ago Public Telivision ran a very good panel discussion about the crises in mental health care. The pendulum has swung so far towards patient rights that any comprehensive care is almost impossible. it is not that patients fall through the cracks but they fall through the canyons. Many good concerned healthcare professionals need new laws to help patients through their illnesses. Mandatory early care is non-existant right now in our country. Parents are at a total loss. Usually the patient loses in this case we are all diminished.

    January 11, 2011 at 11:53 am | Report abuse |
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