Crime Library: Criminal Minds and Methods

Jared Loughner and the Shooting of Gabrielle Giffords

Stirrings of Trouble Ahead

Jared Lee Loughner
Jared Lee Loughner

According to police report, on September 23, 2004, Loughner, then still a student at Mountain View High School, had been in the cafeteria when, he told police, he had been poked with something sharp. He said he thought that a student had jabbed him. The student was identified as Anthony "Tony" Kurz. After being poked, Loughner became "pale, got dizzy, could not stand and had to be helped to a nurse's office by another friend," according to the report. Though Kurz admitted that he had fashioned a needle inside a regular ballpoint pen, he said he couldn't remember if he had struck Loughner, who didn't press charges.

In the first case, Loughner was the bullied victim. But the next time police were called‚ it was because of Loughner's own misbehavior. According to a police report, on May 12, 2006, Loughner again showed up at the nurse's office at Mountain View High School, drunk from vodka. According to the report, "she advised that he was so extremely intoxicated that he had to be transported to Northwest Hospital to the Emergency Room."

Loughner had drunk 350 milliliters of vodka between 1:30 a.m. and 8 a.m the morning before school. He had stolen the vodka from his father's liquor cabinet. According to the report, "He was very upset as his father yelled at him."

Since the shooting, multiple news reports have painted a picture of a strained home life in the Loughner household, one in which the parents were described as "not normal neighbors," by one person living in the area.

Though his mother Amy was described as "doting," his father, Randy, who installed carpets for a living and tinkered with cars in his spare time, in particular seemed to be a source of tension.

According to The New York Times, "As a member of one neighboring family suggested: if your child's ball came to rest in the Loughners' yard, you left it there."

Another report said that the Loughners were known as "isolated" around the neighborhood.

After the shooting, the Loughners were quiet, but eventually issued a statement: "This is a very difficult time for us. We ask the media to respect our privacy. 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. 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."

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