Family of accused Arizona shooter expresses sorrow over 'heinous' events
January 11th, 2011
06:00 PM ET

Family of accused Arizona shooter expresses sorrow over 'heinous' events

The family of Jared Lee Loughner issued a statement Tuesday regarding Saturday's shooting rampage in Tucson, Arizona.

"There are no words that can possibly express how we feel. We wish that there were so we could make you feel better. We don't understand why this happened," the family said in statement handed to members of the media keeping watch outside the family's Tucson home.

"It may not make any difference but we wish that we could change the heinous events of Saturday. We care very deeply about the victims and their families we are so very sorry for their loss."

Loughner, 22, is accused of opening fire Saturday morning at an constituents meeting held by U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords outside a Tucson Safeway.

Read more about the latest developments in the shootings
soundoff (444 Responses)
  1. Not_You

    Why is it that whenever something like this happens, theres always that one person that says, if I was there, it wouldnt have gone down that way? You have no idea what you would do in that situation and never will until you are in it.

    January 11, 2011 at 6:40 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Mike

    My heart goes out to this animal's parents as well as the rest of the victims and respective families of this tragedy, there are no winners in this terrible event, may God protect and console them in this terrible hour of grief.

    January 11, 2011 at 6:41 pm | Report abuse |
  3. georjetset

    I think it is sad that the parent's feel the need to apologize for their son. Since he is not saying anything he is forcing his parents & friends to say something since the whole world wants to know what is going on with this guy. Obviously selfishness is one of Jared's character defects. Being that he is 22, an adult, he is the only one responsible for what he did. Lets give the parents a break...they need one.

    January 11, 2011 at 6:41 pm | Report abuse |
  4. WakeUp

    Ask your local Mental Health Hospital if they've been cut from state funds drastically and are overwhelmed with patients. Then ask your President what the people of USA can do to change that for their state.

    January 11, 2011 at 6:45 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Kuwait_999

    Matthew 7:3-5
    Why do you see the speck that is in your brother's eye,
    but do not notice the log that is in your own eye? Or how can you
    say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’
    when there is the log in your own eye?
    You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye,
    and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your brother's eye.

    Mrs/Mr Loughner... we are not condem you. For I know... No right mind
    parent would like their son/daughter to kill any one.

    May peace be with you.

    January 11, 2011 at 6:45 pm | Report abuse |
  6. MB

    You shouldn't assume they haven't tried to get him help. It's not an easy thing to do. My partner has a schizophrenic half-brother who refuses to take medication, and I have another friend whose brother is most likely also schizophrenic (he is suicidal, talks about seeing aliens, and is suffering paranoia and delusions). Watching both families try to deal with the situation and get help for these adult men (one is twenty-five, the other thirty-one) is very revealing. There seems to be nothing that anyone will do, if the mentally ill adult doesn't voluntarily seek out that help. My partner's half-brother was beaten up (and arrested) after trying to abduct a little girl from her family's car. And still he lives on his own, not taking his meds, threatening his mother (with whom he lives) with knives at least once a month. I'm convinced the only way the police and mental health organizations will agree to take action will be when he finally murders his mother or perhaps successfully abducts or harms someone else. I've said more than once that I won't be surprised if I turn on the news one day and see him attached to a tragedy like this.

    It's frustrating. There just aren't a lot of resources for people trying to get help for a mentally ill adult. At least not until they hurt themselves or others.

    January 11, 2011 at 6:46 pm | Report abuse |
  7. paanclub

    its a great country we live in that allows animals like this to get due process.... sometimes i wish we could hang people like this in public and raise money for victims by showing it on cable tv. i know id suscribe

    January 11, 2011 at 6:46 pm | Report abuse |
  8. David

    They say they wish they could undo what happened Saturday. Well what about all of the signs of mental illness he exhibited over the years. With no help. He lived in the same house and had that shrine in the back yard. The parents are not in reality when they say this. Of course they knew something was wrong but failed their son by not getting him help. With all of the red flags raised over the past several years, this tragedy could have been avoided, just like Columbine and Virginia Tech.

    January 11, 2011 at 6:47 pm | Report abuse |
  9. army chick

    Get it together peeple! Nothing any of us say can change this tragic event. Putting the family under guilt and condemnation is not an option. NO ONE could have seen this coming. ALL families involved are victums especially his family because this hateful world wants to BLAME them for his actions. I pray for ALL involved and hope some peace comes to them. The BLAME GAME is stupid and changes nothing.

    January 11, 2011 at 6:47 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Kook test

    Obviously, their son is not normal. It will be interesting to know when he started exhibiting strange behavior. Was it in his teens? Pre teen? Recently? There are a lot of families out there right now that have kids that have severe mental issues and don't know how to handle it. Many are fearful that their son or daughter are ticking time bombs but are afraid to suggest that they see a therapist and psychiatrist fearing they will enrage him or her to the point that they will live in fear of their own son/daughter. You read it everyday.....son/daughter kills family.The problem is that you can't throw someone into a psychiatric ward if they have committed no crime.

    January 11, 2011 at 6:47 pm | Report abuse |
    • Kay

      Not true. They can be involuntarily committed if they actively present a danger to themselves or others. They don't actually have to commit a crime. The problem is that there aren't enough places to send these people. Our prisons hold 10 times as many mentally ill people than do mental hospitals. There simply aren't enough mental health facilities where people can actually get help. People who need help are sent back out onto the streets once they're stabilized...or they're determined not to be as much of a danger as someone else and there's only one bed available. (You can blame Ronald Reagan for that.) Funding gets cut over and over, even though 1 in 4 Americans will suffer from a mental illness at some point in their lives, and 1 in 17 will suffer from a severe mental illness like paranoid schizophrenia.

      Mental illness scares an awful lot of people, so these people stigmatize it. Try to blame people for a frickin' illness. (It's like how people diagnosed with cancer were treated not that long ago. And I really mean "not that long ago".)

      January 11, 2011 at 8:51 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Erin

    Society is to blame-his classmates who were scared of him missed the ball as well they do have a program in AZ about reporting the type of behavior he exhibited while in college-no one called. Even IF someone complained-it is nearly impossible to have someone committed against their will....

    January 11, 2011 at 6:50 pm | Report abuse |
    • NoDoubt

      What program would that be? Never heard of any hotline that you can call to take away someone against their will to get mental help if they haven't committed a crime yet.

      January 11, 2011 at 7:04 pm | Report abuse |
    • Mike Devon

      I read a news item earlier today where one of their neighbors declared that the father was "the neighborhood jerk.". Maybe that should be looked at as well.

      January 11, 2011 at 7:29 pm | Report abuse |
    • KimH

      Erin,
      you do realize that he was removed from campus because someone DID complain.....
      the man was an adult. his parents had little recourse especially since they were estranged. He had no serious criminal record. the truth is there are nut jobs out there that are going to fall through the cracks. You can regulate this kind of mental illness away.

      January 11, 2011 at 7:42 pm | Report abuse |
    • shawn

      You're so right, Erin. So why didn't you stop him? You need to get real and learn a little about accountability. Blaming society? Ha! Now that's rich.

      January 11, 2011 at 7:48 pm | Report abuse |
    • CJ

      We will have evolved as a society and a people when we FINALLY look at putting real money into proven prevention programs versus tons of money into revenge after the tragedy. Our choices here speak volumes about OUR character... There is NOTHING we can do to Loughner that will restore ONE victim. Believe in the concept of PREVENTION.

      January 11, 2011 at 7:51 pm | Report abuse |
    • Mea Han

      My sister in law was in the math class with Jared before he got kicked out. She sat next to him intentionally because she felt sorry for him and was trying to make eye contact to befriend him. He never made eye contact with her. And sadly his odd behavior scared the teacher bad enough to get the police to remove him.

      January 11, 2011 at 7:53 pm | Report abuse |
    • Stuart

      How many more people have to be killed before America takes a serious look at it's gun laws? America has 10 times the population of Canada but 50 times the # of deaths related to guns. You can't tell me that access to guns isn't directly correlated to the number of deaths. It's time Americans demanded change. In Canada we have our share of crazies as well but at least there's far less chance of them killing someone when they do go off the deep end. I agree with others that as a society we also have to be a lot more vigilant about reporting and seeking help for people that appear disturbed. We owe it to them and to ourselves...

      January 11, 2011 at 8:03 pm | Report abuse |
    • Anabuhabkuss

      Shawn,

      What kind of response is that?

      Self accountability factor into society. How we're raised, developed, influenced factors into how well our coping skills are including self accountability. Learn some basic psychology before jumping on someone's back?

      How was Erin supposed to stop this? The person who preaches self accountability needs to not push rhetoric into our faces by asking another what they did. That's the wrong question.. The right question is why didn't anyone who say these signs do anything?

      January 11, 2011 at 8:31 pm | Report abuse |
    • Sandra B

      Agree...there is no place to go with this type of information. We went through this with my brother (later diagnosed with schizophrenia). Lots of people see it, but there's not much anyone can do until its too late (they end up in prison). It's a massive failure in our system and processes. Don't blame the people so much. Look at the processes. There is no place to go for these folks. Funding was cut years ago and state hospitals were closed.

      January 11, 2011 at 8:31 pm | Report abuse |
    • Kay

      The way "society is to blame" is for far too many Americans' failure to understand that mental health services are grossly underfunded, mental hospitals keep getting shut down for funding reasons, our prisons have become the replacement for mental health treatment centers (meaning that, instead of treating people, they're warehoused, then released, usually worse off than they were), and mental illness is so stigmatized by frightened people who like to "blame" sufferers and their families that far too many people are ashamed to get the help they need.

      It's up to us to change that. And it starts with stopping with the blame game.

      January 11, 2011 at 9:02 pm | Report abuse |
    • Mmmmm

      The program is called the coroner and the police. The police arrest for bizarre behavior and bring him into the emergency room the doctor calls the coroner to involuntary admit him to the psych unit for help!

      January 11, 2011 at 11:41 pm | Report abuse |
    • Doug

      I bet you never in your life lived with a person with a mental problem, ( let's hope you don't") and you never really know the reality of this type of person.. My stepson was a total nut case, really handsome, he could ruin any event in just a moment, and he was a master at making it someone else who made this all happen.. He never broke any laws so like this guy we could not lock him up.. When you live with this type of situation you have no one to turn to, except maybe a friend who might tell you to man up.. Yes, this is really how it is.. This is really a lonely highway to walk down because here in America we just don't accept mental illness..

      January 12, 2011 at 7:00 am | Report abuse |
    • pronco

      I really don't think it's our gun laws to blame so much as it is our violent culture. We really do glorify violence in this country and our government policies reinforce it with a primary focus on the "solutions" of violence, war and punishment, i.e. the War on Drugs, the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, the death penalty, torture, the burgeoning prison population, standardized testing, etc.

      January 12, 2011 at 8:07 am | Report abuse |
    • 99sparky

      "...America has 10 times the population of Canada but 50 times the # of deaths related to guns..." that's very nice Stuart. Please try and remember that your numbers are very broad in nature and do not accurately illustrate the true use of firearms in our country. Those numbers include incidents of law enforcement use of firearms, self-defense, negligent discharges, suicide, etc. Your point would be better served by only comparing the number of murders committed with a firearm. Additionally, please keep in mind that the same access to guns for our citizens, which you condemn, was directly responsible for our countries full independence from the British Empire over 200 years before your beloved Canada (1776 Declaration of Independence -vs- 1982 Canada Act). WE will govern ourselves in the way WE see fit and if you don't agree with our laws and the freedoms enjoyed by our citizenry then please feel free to stay home.

      January 12, 2011 at 8:37 am | Report abuse |
    • tekstep1

      @99sparky – # of gun murders in US during 2009 = 9,369. # of gun murders in Canda during 2009 = 144. Thats murders, not deaths. Also, by your logic, if guns truly freed us from tyrranical British rule, then slavery made ther U.S. an economic superpower. You still tout the necessity for weapons, based on this idea, do you also champion slavery?

      January 12, 2011 at 9:32 am | Report abuse |
    • Allen

      So, Erin, since it is as difficult as you said it is to have anyone taken off the street for a suspected mental illness then where do you get off acusing his classmates and friends for the atrocities he committed. Laughner may be a very depressed and confused individual. There are countless people who feel the same or worse. They're not buying glocks and high capacity clips and pumping 30 rounds into a crowd of innocent people. That fact, alone, exonerates anyone from responsibility for his actions because it is more natural for those that actually knew this madman to error on the side of compassion than it would be for anyone who knew him to jump up, at some point in the past, and said: OK, let's go lock Jared up, he's freeking me out..... What limits your ability to see that the person who is wrong for shooting 20 people in Tuscon is the shooter.

      January 14, 2011 at 9:34 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Lucy

    Jared is a very sick man...only thing sicker are the gun laws in the States...The NRA owns your countrys soul. Sad but true. And, really, that's how the rest of the world it.

    January 11, 2011 at 6:50 pm | Report abuse |
    • Frank

      Great, then tell "the world" to stop trying to come here illegally. How about those millions that also wanna come for freedom from socialists, commies and dictators alike? I bet you are Canadian.

      January 11, 2011 at 7:09 pm | Report abuse |
    • gremlin

      Wow that reply had nothing to do with the original statement.

      January 11, 2011 at 7:27 pm | Report abuse |
    • Marcel

      Frank said " Great, then tell "the world" to stop trying to come here illegally. "
      What on earth has this something to do with needing a gun....?
      And it is true.....who wants to live in the USA nowadays....

      January 11, 2011 at 7:30 pm | Report abuse |
    • BaltoPaul

      Lucy:

      Last time I checked, it was illegal in the US to shoot a congresswoman. It was illegal for a person addicted to or using a controled substance to buy a firearm. It was illegal for a person to lie on their application to buy a firearm. It was illegal for a person judged to be mentally deficient to buy a firearm.

      This guy clearly showed all the signs of suffering from scizophrenia. He was kicked out of his college because he was considered dangerous to others. He lived with his parents ... he attended the same community college for about five years. Nobody around him acted to have his mental condition assessed. Had that happened, and had Arizona then in turn reported this to NCIS (their record is rather spotty on doing such), then he would not have been abloe to legally purchase a firearm.

      The same thing happened in the VA Tech mass shooting. That shooter was even committed to inpatient care for his mental problems and had numerous police contacts, and yet it was not reported to NCIS, and he was able to legally buy a handgun. It's not the laws that are the problem, it is the poor administration of the system.

      January 11, 2011 at 7:40 pm | Report abuse |
    • Sandra B

      Even more sad is that the politicians and gun lobbyists will get more mileage about this that the solution. We need a real national health plan and a way to get these folks help earlier in the process (possibly even opening state hospitals or making some easy path for these folks to get help). I am not convinced a person with schizophrenia can self report, or self diagnose. In my brothers case, he went to a therapist and we thought everything was going great and he later attempted to kill my mother. It's a disease. It doesn't make sense. We spent years trying to make sense out of a disease that is more of a disintegration of the thought process. It won't get you where you need to be.

      January 11, 2011 at 8:36 pm | Report abuse |
    • Sandra B

      I didn't say that right. We tried to make sense out of behavior, and didn't realize it was a disease yet. Looking back I understand it, but that's not what it was like looking forward. I think I have a pretty good idea of what this family is dealing with. Condolences. I don't have any great advice except to ask for a forensic psychiatrist. But, it might be good to start reading about schizophrenia so you understand it. It took me many years to sort this stuff out. I get it now, but it was hell trying to figure it out. Take care of your health. This stuff is stressful. And it can get your health. Don't let it. It's a brutal disease. Not kind. You are going to see stressful things (like this actually), but i watched my brother screaming from behind jail cell walls too. It's painful. This whole thing is one solid heartache. Learn as much as you can so you understand it.

      January 11, 2011 at 8:44 pm | Report abuse |
    • Howie

      Gun laws? He could have used a car and ran the people over. A knife or bat can kill. A gun is a tool. It may or may not be used for good or evil. Lets focus on doing something with the people who are problematic and get off the gun control crap. If he had been found mentaly unstable then he never would have had a gun.

      January 11, 2011 at 10:56 pm | Report abuse |
    • Andrew

      Guns do not kill people, people kill people. Even without guns people will still find ways to commit horidous crimes against one another, its just that guns make it easier. Taking guns away from everyone will not solve problems, it will just create new ones because criminals will always be able to get them and the law abiding citizens will not be able to. Its called the Black Market.

      January 12, 2011 at 9:14 am | Report abuse |
  13. Jane

    I honestly believe that continuous ACTIVE PARENTING could have helped the mom & dad know something was amiss with their son. My parents saw problems with me when I was a teen & were so embarrassed they could hardly deal with it. Small passive steps (talking to a mental health nurse, outside of the system) was where they chose to send me. I am thankful my illness was mild enough that I recognized it myself & continue to seek treatment. A relative isn't so lucky. Nearing 60 y/o male is in a horrible psychosis. We had him hospitalized against his will for a 72 hour "hold". He chose to accept no more help. Now he is out & about.....and in many family members opinions dangerous! Nothing more we can do! Mental Health Care is sorely lacking in the USA.

    January 11, 2011 at 6:50 pm | Report abuse |
    • Susan Townsend

      Thank you! I wondered why the parents didn't do something before the tragedy as all the signs seemed to be obvious. More responsibility needs to be taken at the parenting level.

      January 11, 2011 at 7:24 pm | Report abuse |
    • gremlin

      perhaps, but it is perfectly likely that the illness (if he has one other than drugs) didn't manifest after he left home. Parents play a large role, but they can't stop everything. It's difficult to tell what is just someone acting out and what is a serious problem. The parents may not have even been aware of many of his troubles as he is over 18. I don't know that the parents didn't drop the ball, but parenting is a tough job. You can do everything "right" and still have a child that goes wrong.

      January 11, 2011 at 7:29 pm | Report abuse |
    • omgamike

      I have a son, now aged 36, who has been AD/HD/OD and Bi-Polar, for most of his life. We had him in all kinds of therapy, finally going to the extreme of having him declared a ward of the court and sent out of state, to a residential center, for almost 2 years, to try and help him. Now, he is competent enough to live on his own, but his life is a mess. He listens to no one, always has to do things his way, be it right or wrong and will listen to no one. Sometimes, you have people who just have problems. They will have had caring parents, but just don't turn out right.

      January 11, 2011 at 7:31 pm | Report abuse |
    • Mike Devon

      I commented elsewhere:

      I read a news item earlier today where one of their neighbors declared that the father was “the neighborhood jerk.”. He was described as " always being angry." Maybe that should be looked at as well.

      January 11, 2011 at 7:32 pm | Report abuse |
    • KimH

      Sadly, there is a big difference between a teenager (subject to the control of guardians/parents) and an adult. No matter how close the family ties, you cannot force an adult to seek mental health care against their will unless they commit a crime or are a proven danger to themself or others. Until he started shooting, there was not legal basis.

      January 11, 2011 at 7:45 pm | Report abuse |
    • Sandra B

      I used to think that also...and I understand what you mean. However, I don't see that being useful for a true schizophrenic.

      January 11, 2011 at 8:46 pm | Report abuse |
    • Kay

      Please don't assume that they didn't see that there was something wrong with their son and that they didn't do everything they could. Can't you see that all the "active parenting" in the world wouldn't have changed a thing for *you* had you not had a "mild" mental illness that you, yourself, knew you had and wanted help for? Can't you see that, once you became a legal adult, your parents could have done nothing about your treatment had you not wanted it? Just like with your uncle.

      Also, the fact that your parents were embarrassed demonstrates a huge part of the problem we have in this country. The stigma of mental illness is incredibly powerful...and incredibly stupid. And frightened people do stupid things, including cut mental health budgets, shut down mental health hospitals (thank you sooooo much, Ronald Reagan), and turn our ill-prepared prisons into holding facilities where the mentally ill often come out worse than when they went in.

      January 11, 2011 at 9:22 pm | Report abuse |
  14. David

    Someone posted that "you can't force a 22 year old into therapy". Yes you can. You can file involuntary commitment papers on anyone who you think by their actions would be a threat to themselves or others.

    January 11, 2011 at 6:51 pm | Report abuse |
    • BaltoPaul

      Agreed.

      They might not have been able to hold him past 72 hours, but if they had daignosed him as schizophrenic (which he likely is), and if Arizona actually submitted mental health records to NCIS (which they don't do very well), then perhaps he'd have been turned away when he filed his paperwork to buy a handgun.

      January 11, 2011 at 7:01 pm | Report abuse |
    • NoDoubt

      Do you live in Arizona? It takes weeks of paperwork to get any help if you don't have health insurance already.

      January 11, 2011 at 7:05 pm | Report abuse |
    • Maggie May

      Not in Virginia. If you are over the age of 14, you can refuse to be treated. Can you believe that? Even if you are having suicidal ideations, you can refuse treatment. In CT., when I was practicing as a therapist, any indications of self harm put you in a mandatory 14 day commitment. It's shocking how lax certain state laws are regarding mental health. Not knowing the laws in AZ, I can't comment as to whether or not his parents were remiss in getting him help.

      January 11, 2011 at 7:39 pm | Report abuse |
    • Athena

      And where will the reported person go? And for how long? Unless they are wealthy, it's hard to imagine what these parents could have done differently. Even law enforcement can't find places for the mentally ill. Everyone of you proud tea partiers can shoulder some of the blame for the ridiculous fear-mongering about health care reform.

      January 11, 2011 at 7:40 pm | Report abuse |
    • meggan

      The conclusions the everyone is coming to regarding his mental health quite entertaining. Honestly there is no way to tell what illness he has without a thorough assessment. I see people matter-of-factly blurting out "Schizophrenia" and "Bi-polar" etc... The majority of people with these particular illnesses are NOT violent. (Although, his pervasive anti-social behavior sounds more like an AXIS II disorder...)
      Regardless, this is a tragedy. Let us not make it worse by adding to the stigma that people with mental illness face.

      January 11, 2011 at 8:06 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Schniggy VonFlugen

    If indeed he was having problems in high school and the parents did not seek help, they made a mistake. It is likely that even if they did, it wouldn't have made any difference. If he's still living at home at 22, they made another. Letting your kids live with you indefinitely while they are bums does no one any good. They reach the age of majority and they either go to school or get out.
    We raise our kids, we give them our morals, and then we cut them loose. What they do once they're gone is their path....not ours or anyone else's.

    January 11, 2011 at 6:51 pm | Report abuse |
    • BaltoPaul

      His parents had to have known he had a serious problem. He's living with them. He's a high school dropout, abused pot, went to community college for *five* years and then got kicked out for being considered a danger to others. He posts political rants on the internet. Did he hide those views from his parents all those years? He owned a gun. Did he hide that from them too?

      I saw a lot of whackos in college when I was attending. I suppose if your kid is acting like a scizophrenic, you should send them to college and see if education cures it.

      January 11, 2011 at 7:07 pm | Report abuse |
    • Mellymel

      There were soft warning signs in elementary school, moderate warning signs in middle school, and all you know what broke out in HS and community college. They had his whole childhood to begin early intervention, but didn't. He was displaying pressured speech in the college classes, and I'm sure this was happening at home too. If you've been a victim of a bipolars or schizophrenic's pressured speech, YOU WILL NEVER FORGET IT. It's scarey and goes beyond somebody just being a little odd or different. This is why his classmates at college were so shaken up by him.

      January 11, 2011 at 7:26 pm | Report abuse |
    • KimH

      So, specifically, what should the parents have done? Perhaps reported his pot use? A slap on the wrist and a bunch of court fines? Kicked him out? Hardly helpful to society. Try to "persuade" him to get help? Doesn't sound like he thought he had issues. So, what do you recommend?

      January 11, 2011 at 7:49 pm | Report abuse |
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