Jared Loughner's background reveals series of warning signs
Jared Lee Loughner, 22, had a documented history of brushes with school officials and law enforcement.
January 13th, 2011
09:26 PM ET

Jared Loughner's background reveals series of warning signs

For months, Jared Lee Loughner creeped out classmates and teachers with his odd behavior.

As a student at Aztec Middle College in Tucson, Arizona, Loughner was prone to sudden outbursts in class, teachers said. He'd ask "incoherent" questions and make inappropriate comments.

Other times, he would just stare into space.

"He had an intense stare, but he usually didn't stare at other people," said Kent Slinker, who taught an "Intro to Logic" class attended by Loughner. "He would have a focused stare some place else in the room, and almost as if he was viewing another scene or intensely thinking about something."

Loughner often spoke out of turn and asked questions unrelated to the class topic, leading Slinker to assume the student had Tourette Syndrome.

"I was never able to talk to him on a one-to-one basis and I did worry about him a lot," he said. "I do recall thinking I hope his parents know what's going on and that they have a handle on things."

Loughner was arrested in Saturday's shooting at a constituents gathering held by U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords in front of a Tucson Safeway grocery store. Six people died and more than a dozen were wounded. Federal authorities have charged Loughner with first-degree murder, attempted murder counts and attempting to kill a member of Congress, counts that involve shooting federal employees. State prosecutors also could bring charges related to other victims.

Interviews with friends and former teachers and classmates provide a glimpse of how he appeared in public - a little off, but not necessarily threatening. Background checks reveal brushes with the law that alone did not set off any alarm bells, a law enforcement official told CNN. He was also suspended from community college in September with the understanding that he could return if he obtained a clean bill of mental health from a doctor, school officials said.

On their own, the incidents prompted as much action as school officials or law enforcement felt necessary, given the cirumstances. Whether anyone ever put them all together remains unclear.

Classmates from Mountain View High School in Marana, a Tucson suburb, saw a different side of Loughner. They described him as intense and intelligent, someone who kept to himself but was nice once you to know him. He was fixated on numbers and excelled at math, former girlfriend Ashley Figueroa told CNN affiliate KGUN.

"He was a very nice kid. He was very, very intelligent. He would help me out with like my math and that's how it started off," Figueroa told KGUN.

"He just seemed like one of those kids who kind of kept to himself. He was very, very quiet. I kind of made the effort to talk to him because he kind of kept to himself. He was actually a really nice kid when it came to it," added Figueroa. 

But his temper was too much for Figueroa, so she ended their relationship, she said.

"He used to scare me sometimes and that's why I left him. He kind of made me feel uncomfortable at times," she said. "He'd get really mad, clench his fist and then throw a kind of little tantrum. He'd flail his arms and walk off."

Loughner dropped out of Mountain View in 2006, after his junior year, the school district said. Near the end of his junior year, Loughner was taken to a hospital for alcohol poisoning, according to Sheriff's Department records. In 2007, he was arrested for possession of drug paraphernalia, but the charge was dismissed after he completed a pretrial diversion program, according to court records.

In 2008, Loughner tried to enlist in the U.S. Army but was rejected for reasons that are protected by privacy laws, officials said. But an administration official told CNN on Sunday that Loughner had failed a drug test.

Loughner had most recently been taking classes at Aztec Middle College, a partnership between Tucson schools and Pima Community College that helps dropouts transition to community colleges.

Loughner took classes until September 2010, when he was suspended after five contacts with Aztec campus police "for classroom and library disruptions" between February and September, the school said.

To his college classmates, Loughner's presence was unnerving, drawing the attention of campus law enforcement.

"The first time I was really struck by him was because he used inappropriate reactions to people's emotional content. He would laugh at things that were sad. He just didn't seem to be aware of what was going on," Don Coorough, his classmate in advanced poetry, told CNN.

A report on Loughner's participation in the poetry class noted an instance of him responding inappropriately to a poem read in the class.

His comments "were a huge leap from the context of the poem and said things about abortion, wars, killing people, and 'why don't we just strap bombs to babies,' " according to a February report by the Pima College Department of Public Safety.

Loughner was kicked out of an algebra class in June after repeated interruptions that made classmates uncomfortable and left the impression that he clearly "needed psychological help," his algebra instructor Ben McGahee said.

Loughner sometimes shook, blurted things out in class and appeared to be under the influence of drugs at times, McGahee said.
"I was scared of what he could do," McGahee said.

"I wasn't scared of him physically, but I was scared of him bringing a weapon to class."

Loughner was suspended in September after authorities found a YouTube video in which he called the school "illegal according to the U.S. Constitution," the school said.

A follow-up letter warned that in order to return, Loughner had to present a doctor's note stating that "his presence at the college does not present a danger to himself or others."

Off campus, Loughner got into trouble with police for underage drinking and possession of a marijuana joint and a pipe. Pima County Sheriff's Bureau Chief Richard Kastigar described them as "very minor" incidents that failed to raise red flags ahead of Saturday's extreme violence.

"[They] do not add up in their totality to anything that would cause a police officer to say, 'This guy is going to go out there and shoot 20 people,'" Kastigar said.

Immediately after the shootings, law enforcement and the media went online to decipher Loughners digital footprint. They found a trove of confounding items in his profiles on MySpace, YouTube and other sites. Creating his own currency, lucid dreaming and distrust of the U.S. government were recurring themes in his online writings.

A December 30 posting states: "Dear Reader ... I'm searching. Today! With every concern, my shot is now ready for aim. The hunt, a mighty thought of mine."

One posting complained of a "second constitution," a term legal scholars sometimes use to describe post-Civil War amendments that ended slavery, extended voting rights and required equal protection under the law.

"In conclusion, reading the second United States constitution I can't trust the current government because of the ratifications: the government is implying mind control and brainwash on the people by controlling grammar," he wrote in a December 15 video message on YouTube. "No! I won't pay debt with a currency that's not backed by gold and silver! No! I won't trust in God!"

Alan Lipman, director of the Center of the Study of Violence at Georgetown University, said the postings show "classic signs of psychosis."

"People were looking for whether he was on the left or the right. He was neither," Lipman told CNN. "He was incoherent. Those were signs, classic signs you'd see in a psychiatric unit of formal thought disorder."

Forensic psychologist Kathy Seifert called the postings "absolutely psychotic." Loughner should have been evaluated for schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, autism or other mental illnesses, she said.

In an apparent reference to Giffords' congressional district, a posting stated: "The majority of people, who reside in District-8 are illiterate - hilarious."

The last message reportedly posted on his MySpace page read, "Dear friends ... Please don't be mad at me. The literacy rate is below 5%. I haven't talked to one person who is literate."

Authorities believe Loughner specifically targeted Giffords. Searches of the Loughner home turned up a 2007 letter from Giffords thanking Loughner for attending a 2007 event similar to Saturday's, Kastigar said.

Other alleged connections to Giffords: an envelope in a strongbox in his home was scrawled with phrases like "die bitch" and "assassination plans have been made," though officials have not drawn a direct link to Giffords.

Neighbor Steven Woods said Randy Loughner had complained to another neighbor that his son was "out of control."

The morning of the shooting, Loughner and his father had a confrontation in their front yard, Kastigar said. His father had asked him about a black bag he was carrying.

"Jared mumbled something back to his dad, and his dad said he didn't understand what was said. It was unintelligible," Kastigar said. "And then Jared left. The father followed. The father got in his vehicle and tried to locate his son and followed the direction that he went and he could not locate his son."

soundoff (795 Responses)
  1. Scotty

    The bottom line people – All the armchair quarterbacking in the world isn't going to change a thing. Pray for the victims, hold the guilty responsable for what they did and in your everyday life be vigilant of what's going on around you. Other than an occasional update on how the victims are doing, the story is over.

    January 13, 2011 at 9:37 pm | Report abuse |
    • Sheron

      I personally think he is doing this look on purpose!!! He wants people to think he is crazy, it will help in his defense!!!!!
      This photo is a staged photo!!!!!

      January 13, 2011 at 10:48 pm | Report abuse |
    • Steve

      Precisely. Well put.

      January 13, 2011 at 11:39 pm | Report abuse |
    • Chaz

      And just who are 'the bottom line people' ? You sound incoherent !

      January 13, 2011 at 11:44 pm | Report abuse |
    • Janet

      They are only locked up when they are a danger to others or themselves and put on a medication that will allow them to live in society with a reasonable normal life. If a person with an illness goes off of the medication they must be hospitalized and the treating Psychiatrist again will balance out the medication for that person to allow them a reasonably normal life. I recognized the illness as soon as the news story came out. But it is difficult to get someone into treatment because if they are over 18. But not impossible, the evidence was already clear. I have a relative with such an illness and for 20 years the parents had a struggle with the system getting the loved one the treatment that they deserved. But they have been successful in doing so. Not everyone with a mental illness has violent delusions. It bothers me to hear a newsperson describe actual delusions as a 'dream state that people can control'. It sounds like he may even have been catatonic at one point. The catastrophe not only could have been avoided it should have been avoided. A mentally ill person will not know they have a problem at all. Is it the College fault; I do not believe so. I believe they tried to get him the help but the mental health laws in North America are written to protect the normal person. And in North America the Police do not want to appear to make a mistake and arrest someone under the mental health act, especially with no formal history of mental illness. I use the phrase North America because I live in Canada and our Laws seem to be very similar regarding the mentally ill. Everyone pulling together in prayer for the victims is all that can be done for now.

      January 14, 2011 at 12:30 am | Report abuse |
    • Sally Li

      People are hoping to learn something constructive from this: for example, how to pre-empt this kind of thing in the future. Or, others are trying to devise ways to stop it from happening again – for example, placing additional layers of security between members of Congress, and voters.
      It may be that something constructive of this nature can be learned from this – but we must be cautious that the cure is not worse than the disease. What could be worse than what has happened? Believe it or not, there are some things that could be worse, as bad as this was. We must not allow our emotions to dictate policy changes or create a wedge for those who would want to manipulate us out of our freedoms. And we must carefully analyze the facts and draw valid conclusions from these facts, rather than allow ourselves to jump to conclusions in some rush to rash judgment.
      Unless this individual was professionally diagnosed with some disorder prior to this incident, all this second-guessing as to his state of mind is irrelevant and opportunistic, and it is Monday-morning quarterbacking, or hindsight. He did the crime, and he should do the time. Death would be too good a punishment for him. Rehabilitation of any kind is practically out of the question, from what I can see.
      If we are to learn anything from this in the way of prevention, let us keep this in mind: We cannot abandon due process of law in a speculative power-grab by authorities, and we cannot give authorities the unchallenged right to conduct fishing expeditions wherever and whenever they see something that they suspect could be a crime about to happen, when the person who they suspect is in fact innocent, and guilty only in the fertile or lurid imaginations of authorities.
      Then again, we had whistleblowers in this situation, and they were ignored, although their professional opinions were well worth taking into consideration. Anyone who is in a position of authority, and doesn't know how to properly and discreetly process the complaints or concerns of whistleblowers, is not qualified to do their job. This type of training ought to be paramount in the process of hiring anyone in Government. Too often, whistleblowers are thrown to the wolves, suspected of lunacy or bad motives, or dragged into trouble when they ought to be given immunity, and when the information which they provide ought to be treated like gold. If that had happened in this context, there would not have been any massacre in Arizona.
      Any investigation or speculation into this type of incident must never rule out the possibility that there has been some systemic failure in Government, or in the relevant power structures, whether they be the family, the private corporate structural context, or anything else. By addressing these failures and plugging these systemic loopholes in procedure, we can prevent the next incident from happening well before things reach that point. But it would be foolhardy and presumptuous to think anecdotally, and to identify some hapless individual as the next Jared Loughner, when that kind of process might well destroy the life of the next Abraham Lincoln or John Lennon, and deprive the world of all the good which might otherwise have benefited or healed the world.

      January 14, 2011 at 12:48 am | Report abuse |
    • Doug

      Pray.. Really ? So God can't step in the way and let a 9 year old live, and yet we pray for what? Hmmm am I lost or is that you ? I venture to say you !

      January 14, 2011 at 1:02 am | Report abuse |
    • Opinyon

      Good advise Scotty.

      January 14, 2011 at 1:26 am | Report abuse |
    • OldArmyVet

      Pray to a god that lets 9 year old girls get shot because he doesn't have sense to put a stop to things like that but waits around with his thumbs up his rear end until someone asks him to do something nice for her parents and all the other people that the guy shot while he looked on?

      No thanks.

      January 14, 2011 at 1:29 am | Report abuse |
    • Supremo Lagarto

      He isn't schizophrenic. He deliberately placed his wacky youtube videos a few months in advance of his assassination so that he would be able to use an insanity defense.

      The murders he committed were clearly premeditated. He has none of the major features of schizophrenia, such as hallucinations. He merely has a minor personality disorder that superficially resembles schizophrenia, and he has behaved like a creepy jerk at his college.

      Don't be duped so easily people. This guy is going to walk if the judge and jury are this gullible.

      January 14, 2011 at 1:33 am | Report abuse |
    • Christ

      The school did not try to get this guy help, per the article, he was suspended and expected on his own to seek mental health tx to evaluate he was not a threat to himself or others. This guy comes across as psychotic and the signs were there when he was in high school per reports. When someone is mentally ill, they do not have the mind set to seek tx and do not have the insight to seek tx. There are laws in place that allow people who appear to be a threat or psychotic to be taken into custody against their will so they can be evaluated for mental health issues. If they need to be placed into a hospital, again there are laws that can make this happen no matter what age the person is. What happens in our society, we are so worried about people's right to privacy and worried about being sued, we as a society do not take the steps to do this. And yes, there are psychotic people who are not violent but it still doesn't mean they can care for them selves in a safe manner and will still need tx. As for using the word catatonic, this man was not catatonic, if you are truly catatonic you cannot speak and you do not move and you will need medication to come out of true catatonia which is very rare to begin with. The college should have never just suspended this man without notifying his family about the concerns and appropriate professionals and the local police about their fears of him and is mental instability. It amazes me how those who knew him can come out and say there were signs but never took action. For many of these tragic events that involve the mentally ill, they could have been prevented. I'm not referring to those who cannot be treated like anitsocial personality. remember, laws are in place to protect the mentally ill and their rights, but there are also laws to protect the mentally ill when in need for care when they are unable to make decisions and those laws are there to also protect society. We as a whole just need to pay more attention and be more involve.

      January 14, 2011 at 1:42 am | Report abuse |
    • twalk

      Glenn Beck and dick cheney have that look on their face.

      January 14, 2011 at 1:57 am | Report abuse |
    • Telen

      Why does everyone insist on praying to imaginary gods? How will talking to make-believe friends solve anything? You are being just as loony as the dude who fired the gun.

      January 14, 2011 at 2:02 am | Report abuse |
    • GOP Voice

      Please sentence this smiling snapperhead to life in the electric chair.

      January 14, 2011 at 2:03 am | Report abuse |
    • Big Red

      It should be as difficult to purchase a gun, as it is to get a college education. If it was required for people to go to school and get educated before they could get a gun, there wouldn't be as many idiotic and insane people running around with guns legally able to walk into Walmart and get ammo.

      January 14, 2011 at 2:08 am | Report abuse |
    • Al Beritebak

      Bottom line is, praying won't accomplish anything. Never has, never will.

      January 14, 2011 at 2:17 am | Report abuse |
    • Alex111

      It's sad reading these comments and realizing that so many are ignorant of the peace that praying can bring. My prayers are with the families of the victims.

      January 14, 2011 at 2:36 am | Report abuse |
    • Sandra B

      sally li: agree about rehab. unless someone knows how to repair disintegrating thought processes. they seem to be able to give them meds. evidently it works for some people. but, in this case...he has more problems than that now.

      January 14, 2011 at 3:23 am | Report abuse |
    • myklds

      Telen said and I quote "Why does everyone insist on praying to imaginary gods? How will talking to make-believe friends solve anything? You are being just as loony as the dude who fired the gun."

      @ Telen and to the rest of the Ateists...On the contrary, "the loony dude who fired the gun "don't trust God" and he doesn't pray, like (the rest of) you.

      January 14, 2011 at 11:19 am | Report abuse |
  2. Chase

    Am I the only person who thinks a lot of these details should be made public after the trial, not before? The jury selection for this trail is going to be harder than calculus.

    January 13, 2011 at 9:49 pm | Report abuse |
    • edfafwqf

      Hey, Will his trial be on National Television?!?!?!?!?

      January 13, 2011 at 10:32 pm | Report abuse |
    • Meredith

      @ Chase
      Nope. It's going to be extraordinarily difficult to find people who are eligible to serve, willing to sentence him to the death penalty (as required should the prosecution seek it and they can in this case) and have not read/heard/made up their minds based on all of this coverage.
      They can say "it's not evidence until it's entered as evidence" but...it seems that there's just way too much information coming out. Makes one wonder who's going to be held responsible for the saturation of info that's getting out when the fit hits the shan, so to speak.

      January 13, 2011 at 11:04 pm | Report abuse |
    • arlea

      Why can't people just be classified as"bad people" anymore? Why does everything have to be connected to a disease and a diagnosis? This kid grew up in my home town and went to my rival high school... fact of the matter is... He knew what he was doing, and he planned this whole thing out. Whether you people believe he is crazy or not he deserves to pay for his actions and I hope he does to the full extent of the law.
      My heart goes out to ever person effected by this one persons incredibly bad decision.... God be with you all.

      January 14, 2011 at 1:55 am | Report abuse |
  3. Laura

    Well, I know he has to have a trial but enough people saw him shoot those people so I think he should just be hanged, save the tax payers a lot of money!

    January 13, 2011 at 9:57 pm | Report abuse |
    • Michael

      I agree with you,yes,you're right

      January 13, 2011 at 10:37 pm | Report abuse |
    • Kat

      That's just proving his hatred for the government though. Everyone has a right to a trial. He deserves everything he gets, but he also deserves a trial.

      January 13, 2011 at 10:40 pm | Report abuse |
    • EuphoriCrest

      Proof of committing a crime is not proof of guilt. Still a possibility of NGRI. Only a trial can determine that and that's why we don't execute people without a trial. Still, if you prefer immediate executions, there are plenty of fascist countries to which you are free to relocate.

      January 13, 2011 at 10:43 pm | Report abuse |
    • TimeForJustice

      I so agree w/ you. I am tired of the use of the word "alleged". This trial should be swift and justice should be served as swiftly. There were many witnesses and Loughner was wrestled to the ground to stop the rampage. There is no "alleged" about it. Public hangings used to be common. I have no objection to bringing them back when there is absolutely no doubt as to the guilt.

      January 13, 2011 at 11:16 pm | Report abuse |
    • Kite005

      There are some people I thought that about. I'm not sure about him. His ex girlfriend said that he does not think he is mentally ill she thinks that is planned and fake. I would agree if you were talking about Steven Hayes and his accomplice in Connecticut who killed that doctors family. They were clearly guilty and not insane. They should be dead today. This guy I would need to know more about to come to that conclusion.

      January 13, 2011 at 11:24 pm | Report abuse |
    • AzThinker

      What an outrageous statement. Our justice system provides the foundation of a civil society. Without law and order and all that goes with it, there will be only chaos. When you change the definition of "American" from Citizen to Taxpayer you ruin it for all of us.

      January 13, 2011 at 11:51 pm | Report abuse |
    • ILthinker

      AzThinker, you got it right!

      January 14, 2011 at 12:29 am | Report abuse |
    • OldArmyVet

      "Give 'm a fair trial, then hang 'im!"

      Great idea, unless it's you they are saying it about.

      For you to get a fair shake, this guy has to get one.

      January 14, 2011 at 1:06 am | Report abuse |
    • Michael894

      Wonder what form of execution the US Government uses these days. I don't recall any Federal executions recently.

      January 14, 2011 at 3:20 am | Report abuse |
  4. taz

    If that was a black man as oppose 2 a white man that the cop stopped.. he would hv simply been arrested and none of this shyt would have never happen...

    January 13, 2011 at 9:57 pm | Report abuse |
    • sunbemcatcher

      I am afraid you are right about that.

      January 13, 2011 at 10:17 pm | Report abuse |
    • Tyler

      You don't get arrested for running a red light you moron. You get a ticket, unless you start agitating the officer... It's pretty disgusting you'd bring race into this.

      January 13, 2011 at 10:32 pm | Report abuse |
    • IDon

      Blacks whining again! Zzzzzzzzzzzzzz

      January 13, 2011 at 10:35 pm | Report abuse |
    • Eve

      Oh goodness...that complaint is so tired already...

      January 13, 2011 at 11:15 pm | Report abuse |
    • AzThinker

      Actually, in Arizona, if it were anyone who looked "illegal" (read Mexican), you'd be asked for proof of legal status. If you were unable to produce something like your birth certificate or resident alien card, then you'd be arrested.

      January 13, 2011 at 11:55 pm | Report abuse |
    • Really!!!

      I agree with Tyler! Why would u throw race into this. The fact is Black or white he did not do enough of a crime to raise a big red flag and ppl that knew him thought his insanity was all an act. But once again someone feels the need to throw their black card out there, What a shame....

      January 14, 2011 at 12:38 am | Report abuse |
    • Damien

      @AzThinker that's a load of crap

      January 14, 2011 at 3:38 am | Report abuse |
    • Daniel

      Sadly your probably right

      January 14, 2011 at 4:02 am | Report abuse |
  5. banasy

    I agree with Scotty; pray for the victims and let's move on.

    January 13, 2011 at 9:58 pm | Report abuse |
    • OldArmyVet

      How 'bout we pray that god takes a more proactive stance and makes sure stuff like this doesn't happen in the first place?

      January 14, 2011 at 2:05 am | Report abuse |
    • Telen

      "Praying" is the socially acceptable equivalent of doing absolutely nothing.

      January 14, 2011 at 2:10 am | Report abuse |
    • myklds

      @ Telen and the rest of the Atheists...

      On the other hand, NOT Praying and NOT trusting God could make you do anti-social things like spraying bullet to 20 people.

      January 14, 2011 at 11:26 am | Report abuse |
    • myklds


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

    Focal seizures?

    January 13, 2011 at 10:40 pm | Report abuse |
  7. steven

    The only that should died will more than likely live and that jared he knew dam well what he was doing so I say give him the death sentance. Then he might think just maybe he should of shot himself and hope he ended his own life.

    January 13, 2011 at 10:41 pm | Report abuse |
  8. John

    Sounds like a severe case of type 3 ADHD to me with strong O.D.D. "Maybe" a little schizophrenia too. People like that "really" like smoking marijuana, it makes them feel better. I know, I have the same thing and I understand his behavior. I know it doesn't help the situation but if I'm right the guy probably couldn't help himself. If he had been medicated none of this would have happened. Maybe I'm right, maybe I'm wrong. I just hope all of the injured have a full recovery.

    January 13, 2011 at 10:43 pm | Report abuse |
    • krozar

      Could be many dozens of disorders and most likely a combination. Takes a lot of testing and even that may not correctly diagnose a mental disorder.

      January 13, 2011 at 10:56 pm | Report abuse |
    • Supremo Lagarto

      Again, he is not schizophrenic. He's faking it for an insanity defense. Don't be duped so easily.

      He has a minor personality disorder that superficially resembles schizophrenia, but he has none of the major features of a serious thought disorder, such as hallucinations.

      He simply isn't crazy.

      January 14, 2011 at 1:28 am | Report abuse |
    • krozar

      I think he has severe mental disorder(s). But I don't think that he falls under the legal definition of the insanity defense: not knowing that the action is wrong. He knew what he was doing. He thought that the wrong thing was the right thing. But that's not an acceptable sanity defense because he knew the means were very bad.

      January 14, 2011 at 1:58 am | Report abuse |
  9. steven

    The only one that should died will more than likely live and that jared he knew dam well what he was doing so I say give him the death sentance. Then he might think just maybe he should of shot himself and hope he ended his own life.

    January 13, 2011 at 10:43 pm | Report abuse |
  10. george dubya bush

    He needs to be convicted then executed with his own gun. Doesn't matter if he's whacked, he should be put down exactly like a rabid dog about ten minutes after his trial ends.

    January 13, 2011 at 10:43 pm | Report abuse |
    • OldArmyVet

      "Give 'im a fair trial, then hang 'im!"

      You have arrived at a conviction and a sentence all by yourself! Good. Why do we bother with a jury of 12 peers. You can handle everything from now on.

      January 14, 2011 at 2:02 am | Report abuse |
    • george dubya bush

      Agreed really no need for a jury with this one. Put him in front of judge then kill him. Really don't need a judge for that matter. Hang him high then plant him low.

      January 14, 2011 at 10:07 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Alaska Dawn

    Sanest comment I have heard: "People were looking for whether he was on the left or the right. He was neither," Lipman told CNN. "He was incoherent. Those were signs, classic signs you'd see in a psychiatric unit of formal thought disorder."

    January 13, 2011 at 10:44 pm | Report abuse |
    • Sandra B


      January 13, 2011 at 10:55 pm | Report abuse |
    • jubilee shine

      baloney. unstable people dont have political influences? his youtube blather was fully political. less than clear but clearly politically driven. he didnt shoot up the produce aisle he targeted and shot the congresswoman against whom he and others he reflected were in opposition. was hitler not political & purely insane? baloney.

      people trying extra hard to remove this from the reality of a democrat being attacked in arizona.

      January 14, 2011 at 2:07 am | Report abuse |
  12. Jen

    Um, nice job CNN. There is no Aztec Middle College in Tucson. It is Pima Community College. Aztec Middle College is a program at Pima where you can finish school and dually take college classes. I am fairly certain Jared had already graduated from college.

    January 13, 2011 at 10:46 pm | Report abuse |
    • Eve

      Um, sorry Jen CNN was correct. Jared was a high school dropout and was attending Aztec AT PCC. Read the complete article before you criticize honey 🙂

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

    I don't understand why this happens over and over. So may people knew this young man had a problem. Why can't something be done to help the people like him that have metal health issues? There needs to be input from mental health experts.....some
    way to prevent this from happening.

    January 13, 2011 at 10:47 pm | Report abuse |
    • Augiegrad

      A couple reasons come to mind. First, we live in a nation founded on liberty and freedom. Perhaps unfortunately, that includes the freedom to be "creepy", "weird", or even "troubled". It is difficult, if not impossible, for even a parent to get a free adult to get treatment he doesn't want. The judicial system is overflowing with people who have already committed crimes and they are rightfully slow to get involved based on what someone "might" do. Second, the mental health system is equally crowded (and expensive). For every one person who commits a crime like this, there are probably a thousand troubled people who never will.

      January 13, 2011 at 11:26 pm | Report abuse |
  14. John

    I'm waiting to see what–if anything–his parents ever did to get him help. You don't live with a son like this and not know he is terribly troubled. So...let's see what investigators find out about the parents. I'll be surprised if they ever tried to get counseling for him. Maybe this is one of Sarah Palin's kids...one that she hired a couple to take care of for her?

    January 13, 2011 at 10:50 pm | Report abuse |
    • lolasmama

      What does Sarah Palin have to do with this? You started off somewhat coherent...then you start to sound a little "off". Maybe you have more in commo with Jared than you think.

      January 13, 2011 at 10:55 pm | Report abuse |
    • lolasmama

      What does Sarah Palin have to do with this? You started off somewhat coherent...then you start to sound a little "off". Maybe you have more in common with Jared than you think.

      January 13, 2011 at 10:56 pm | Report abuse |
    • ustimes

      What a moron. Is that the best you can do? Blame Palin for everything. First Bush, now Palin. Pathetic. Why don't you blame Loughner and his parents. Those are the ones that deserve the blame.

      January 13, 2011 at 11:11 pm | Report abuse |
    • Augiegrad

      It looks like a lot of people are automatically blaming the parents. An adult is responsible for his own actions. As I responded to Lolasmama, it is impossible for even a parent to force a free adult to get treatment he does not want and the courts are rightfully hesitant to lock someone up for what he might do. Maybe it is part of the price we pay to live in a free society.

      January 13, 2011 at 11:36 pm | Report abuse |
  15. jane

    If this young man is found to have schizophrenia, I hope that this will prompt more research and early detection of this devastating disease. Since it typically has it's onset in late adolescence or early adulthood, teachers should particularly be aware of its symptoms, so parents can be counseled and supported.

    January 13, 2011 at 11:02 pm | Report abuse |
    • Sandra B


      January 13, 2011 at 11:04 pm | Report abuse |
    • TimeForJustice

      Schizophrenic or not, murder is murder. Somewhere inside everyone there is a conscience. Everyone, even Loughner. He knew what he was doing was wrong. Even the smallest thing that day like when he argued w/ his father and mumbled at him when asked a question showed disrespect and Jared knew somewhere deep inside that that kind of behavior was wrong.

      January 13, 2011 at 11:38 pm | Report abuse |
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