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. Brazil

    A person to buy a gun should pass a test like Motor Vehicle. Should be a process and take a least a month to be approve. Ppl says that gun dont kill, ppl kills... of course! but make easy to the sick ppl to buy and there you go!

    January 11, 2011 at 6:53 pm | Report abuse |
    • BaltoPaul

      What good would that have done in this case? Many people around this individual took note of his behavior. Some considered him dangerous. He was kicked out of his community college for this. Nobody saw to it to find out if he was suffering from mental illness. Even if they had, would it have been reported to the authorities? Even if that had happened, would Arizona have submitted the record to NCIS so that when this guy applied to buy a firearm, he could have been denied?

      There are already over 28,000 laws governing firearms ownership or possession in this country. It is already against the law for people suffering from mental illness to purchase a firearm. This guy almost certainly lied when he filled out his paperwork to buy a handgun, because he has a history of drug use, and it is illegal to buy a handgun while addicted to or making use of a controlled substance. It is already illegal to shoot a congresswoman in the head.

      Yeah, you're right, we need more laws. Another law would have stopped this.

      How about we enforce the ones we already have? How about getting the states to report mental health data to NCIS? Most do this very poorly, and some don't report at all.

      Do you really think a 30 day waiting period instead of a 10 day period (10 days is Arizona law) have deterred someone who kept a letter from their target in a safe for over three years before shooting her?

      What happened is tragic, but this is the second mass shooting (VA Tech) by someone clearly suffering from mental illness who was able to purchase a handgun through legal means. Fixing the reporting system is what is needed, not another useless piece of reactionary legislation for a longer waiting period.

      January 11, 2011 at 7:21 pm | Report abuse |
    • Cog In The Wheel

      I'm not against stricter licensing requirements for gun ownership, but that doesn't solve the problem. Recall the incident last year where a young man randomly shot up a college (Virginia Tech, I think?) He'd obtained a license and legally bought a gun years ago, but his mental health deteriorated. That happens with LOTS of people. Normal life events can push otherwise rational people into irrational behavior.

      January 11, 2011 at 7:45 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Linda

    One of my family members went wild from the age of 13 to 18. It was a real roller coaster ride for her single mother but the girl finally straightened out. It's hard to help someone using drugs, alcohol, and turned on by a bad lifestyle. One thing that helped her mother was Al-Anon. One thing I noticed about Loughner was his pot use–that stuff will put unstable people over the edge. I think it is said to increase psychosis. just my opinion but there is research that backs that up.

    January 11, 2011 at 6:54 pm | Report abuse |
    • displeased

      There is research that claims pot causes psychosis? The research I read said the opposite. From what I understand, this person was schizophrenic. Pot will not cure that, but people will blame the drug and not the disease. I think a large percent of the population smokes pot, but you don't see them running around crazy. I think this kid would have flipped, with or without the influence of pot.

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

      Yes, the research says that pot-smoking can aggravate already existing or borderline psychosis. It sure isn't going to bring them down to earth.

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

      I see. I mis-read Linda's message. I thought she said pot causes psychosis. It makes sense it would aggravate it.

      January 11, 2011 at 7:11 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Julia

    I think we are missing the major points here.
    1. This person was obviously disturbed.
    2. This isn'tt he parents fault.
    3. Talking about the vicious ways we'd like to take revenge is counterproductive. Draino in the veins? Firing Squad? Come on people!
    4. If he is found mentally ill, he will be given the care that we as a society failed to give him.

    Let's have some compassion here. We are all angry, but talking the way we are is simply wrong.

    January 11, 2011 at 6:55 pm | Report abuse |
    • Ken

      There are many reasons this kid flipped out. I do believe that some of the fault lies with the right wing people like Sarah Palin and Glen Beck. They get people worked up and lie to them about everything. Shocks me...but that is not the point of this article.

      I have no doubt that his parents feel terrible and I feel VERY sorry for them as well. They are victims too....so very sad. Let's all pray for their peace of mind, they will need it. I cannot imagine the pain they must be feeling.

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

      Oh Yeah,. HS dropout, pot smoking, skull worshiping 9/11 Conspiracy theorist really sounds like a radical teaparty Palin/Beck follower to me. CNN even found he registered as an INDEPENDANT. Nice try but your predictable tasteless lefty attempt to use this tragedy in this way just gives me one more reason to roll my eyes at people like you. How do you look yourself in the mirror and respect what you see?

      January 11, 2011 at 7:18 pm | Report abuse |
    • Marcie

      Frank ...what the hell? Skull worshipping! I dont think so. Meantally unstable yeah. But come on skull worshipping thats, like stereotyping.

      January 11, 2011 at 7:37 pm | Report abuse |
    • Kay

      Well said. Thank you.

      January 11, 2011 at 9:30 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Ann

    Question to Meditating, What do you mean if he is quilty. OMG he is definitely guilty, dead people, wounded people, and others to prove he had the gun in his hand. And no you can't blame the parents to a point, you cannot get help once they turn 18, but my God he did not wake up at his age now and say OK now I am crazy, this has been going on for along time. The parents should have picked up on this while he was growing up and tried to get help for him while he was still under their care. Parents live in denial, and then want to wonder later what happened. Yes noone wants to think that their children are not normal, or have a problem, but come on....it is what it is. He should be executed, he planned this out, a crazy person does not plan out, they just do. I personally am tired of paying for those sitting in Prison on my dime that need to be punished for what they did. If they are proven quilty, and the sentence is Death, then do it, with DNA the way it is now, if DNA is used and they are found quilty, why all the appeals, take them directly to be executed. Maybe if more people were afraid that they would be executed no wait time they may think twice about it.

    January 11, 2011 at 6:56 pm | Report abuse |
    • Kay

      Ann...I beg you to please share your special insider knowledge with us!

      Please tell us how you know for a fact that his parents didn't recognize their son had a problem. Please tell us how you know for a fact that his parents didn't make any attempts to get help for him!

      And, PLEASE! Tell us how you know for a fact that "a crazy person does not plan out, they just do"??? (I bet you'll find an awful lot of, oh, say police detectives and FBI profilers will disagree with you on that one, so please tell us how you know they're all wrong.)

      I can't wait to read about your special knowledge and insights.

      January 11, 2011 at 9:39 pm | Report abuse |
    • Charley

      Sorry to burst your bubble Ann but it's entirely possible to develop a mental illness with absolutely no warning signs occuring before the age of 18. I'm 24 and had my first depressive episode when I was 20. Up till then I was a high achieving, intellegent, hardworking young man (I still am all those things only difference is now there are days where I can't even summon up the energy to get out of bed and days where I want to jump in front of a bus and only meds and a very strong will stops me from doing it). I did very well at school and got into a good University I just happened to have a kink in my brain chemistry that meant I suddenly developed depression.

      My mother loves me and brought me up brilliantly (proven by the fact that I grew up in one of the roughest areas of London and actually made it to Uni) but she had no idea I had depression until very recently because I hid it from her as much as possible. A lot of people with mental health issues will hide the symptoms as much as they can because they don't want to worry people, or they're scared of how people will react.

      If you want to stop things like this happening people need to rethink how they look at people with mental illnesses so that a)we don't feel compelled to hide it away until we simply can't any more,
      b)people are familiar with potential warning signs so they can try and suggest people get help,
      c)we stop stigmatising mental health issues so that people aren't afraid to ask for help when they need it or accept it when it's offered
      d)people realise that we didn't bring it on ourselves and that we definitely don't want it. That we're not weak-minded or need to grow a backbone, or 'snap out of it', 'cheer up', are being 'emo' or 'attention seeking'.

      January 12, 2011 at 1:55 am | Report abuse |
  5. Joe

    @realtime: Sympathy, not "empathy." There are very few people who can share the feeling or experience of what this psycho's parents are going through - but we can feel sorry for them.

    January 11, 2011 at 6:57 pm | Report abuse |
  6. couldubanydumber?

    It is not productive to attempt to blame these parents for the actions of their son. I'm sure they are devastated. But those of you casting stones should look at your own glass houses first. Did your child, at an early age, exhibit behaviors that his/her teachers tried to point out to you? Did he/she hurt your pets? Your other children? You? Other kids at school? And did you listen to those teachers and counselors and get help? Or did you live in denial that anything could possibly be amiss? Did you dismiss the concerns of people who tried to tell you that they were concerned? This occurs far too frequently when children are very young. Parents dismiss the behavior as "just being a boy". Pay some attention to your own house and stop throwing stones at someone else's.

    January 11, 2011 at 7:01 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Truth

    Put your hands together and pray, people. That way you won't be able to type hatred. The parents are not on trial. They are innocent.

    January 11, 2011 at 7:02 pm | Report abuse |
  8. believe

    Everyone wants to put blame on someone including his parents. He is 22 yrs old. At what point is he a responsable adult. A parent can raise a child with values and morales but that does not mean that they will live by them when they are grown. The best thing any of us can do is PRAY for all those who's lives this terrible, needless event touched (and it touched us all in some way) I pray that those killed knew The Lord Jesus Christ as thier Saviour.

    January 11, 2011 at 7:03 pm | Report abuse |
    • Frank

      At what point is he an adult? Well according to the new health laws...26

      January 11, 2011 at 7:23 pm | Report abuse |
    • Mike

      Let's just pray for all effected by this terrible event. Gabby is Jewish, so keep the prayers non-denominational.

      January 11, 2011 at 7:50 pm | Report abuse |
    • somuchfor

      Every murderer has parents somewhere. The crimes of sons and daughters aren't necessarily the crimes of the parents.

      January 11, 2011 at 8:23 pm | Report abuse |
  9. couldubanydumber?

    I heard a commentator on the radio today who urged family members of persons who are "angry" or "violent" and who own guns to "DO something" about it. I wonder what he would have us do? How are you going to get someone who's already full of hate and fury at everyone and everything to give up the guns he's had since he was 18? The police won't take on any such task; neither will any mental health professional.

    January 11, 2011 at 7:04 pm | Report abuse |
  10. mellymel

    I agree. He was living at home, and with all ammenities: internet, cable tv, hitler books, a SKULL garden in the back yard, food, snacks, and apparently A MONEY TREE in the backyard to pay for his POT and GLOCK.

    His parents were still supporting him fianancially. They could have easily pulled the plug on all of the above, which seemed to just set him off, UNLESS he stopped self medicating and saw a real doctor for his psychosis. There are plenty of medications that clear up paranoia and similar serious mental health ailments.

    January 11, 2011 at 7:09 pm | Report abuse |
  11. LB

    Part of the issue is the mental health system in the country. I have had experience first hand where there is limited support that you can do to get help for a person over the age of 18. You can seek help and advice from various sources but unless the person is violent, there is nothing you can do. Even if the person gets help, because of the new privacy laws, there is no way you can follow up to understand their treatment, speak to the doctor or ensure the person is taking the appropriate medication. Its very frustrating for the family and after experience this first hand, I can fully understand why the parents would not have know and why they could not make sure he was seeking the treatment he needed.

    January 11, 2011 at 7:09 pm | Report abuse |
  12. jc

    There is no way the parents could have known. He was an adult. Look at it from their view. He may be behaving less than normal but it was beyond their control. Don't blame the family. Have you experienced problems with a family member? Just say you are lucky not to be in their shoes and leave them alone to grieve

    January 11, 2011 at 7:10 pm | Report abuse |
    • Mellymel

      I blame them. They allowed him to live at home, give him everything, but require him to get mental health care. Responsible set boundaries. All they had to say was "Jared if you want to continue to live here with all the ammenities, they you will be seeing Dr. YHJU on Monday for an evaluation." Some of you people sound so impotent.

      January 11, 2011 at 7:15 pm | Report abuse |
    • Kay

      Good grief, @Mellymel...are you really that clueless about severe mental illness?

      You obviously have absolutely no idea of how impotent you can be when dealing with someone who's delusion or psychotic. How impotent they, themselves, can be. Think of it this way...would you expect to have a rational conversation with someone suffering from severe Alzheimers?

      Sadly, it's clueless people like you who are part of the problem. What problem, you ask? The problem of our country not being willing or able to provide adequate and effective mental health treatment to the millions of mentally ill Americans in desperate need of it.

      You'd rather pay countless additional billions for prisons to warehouse them. Or, as they go through the prisons' revolving doors, have them wandering your streets. Anything but accept that mental illness is an ILLNESS. And people deserve adequate treatment...which so many people in this country just don't want to pay for.

      January 11, 2011 at 10:21 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Erica

    My heart goes out to the victims and their families....I have felt the pain of losing a loved one to a senseless act of murder by a mentally ill person. My question is, when will this country make changes with the way it handles mental illness in those with KNOWN mental illness issues...When can the system change so a family member or guardian is held responsible for getting the individual with mental illness the proper treatment they so desperately need. If this person was not allowed back on campus b/c he was deemed a risk/danger and was not permitted access until cleared by a doctor, then the family should do so. I am not blaming the family of the shooter at all...I am blaming a health care system that needs to seriously address a system that is failing people with mental illness and thus creating a large number of senseless victims. May all those involved rest in peace.

    January 11, 2011 at 7:11 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Kool Moe Dee

    I accept your apology. No hard feelings.

    January 11, 2011 at 7:12 pm | Report abuse |
  15. bama

    No one knows what goes on behind close doors. Don't judge the parents, it is not their fault that this happened. Jared is an adult, he is the master of his own ship. Do you blame your own parents for everything you may have done wrong, or do you take accountability for your actions. This man acted alone and he is accountable for his actions. Stop blaming everything and everybody for his actions.

    January 11, 2011 at 7:12 pm | Report abuse |
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