Six things we now know about Jared Loughner

Violent posts in a gaming forum, a mysterious black bag, a drunken day in high school -- more details emerge


Justin Spees
January 13, 2011 5:03AM (UTC)

Wednesday was a particularly busy on the Loughner beat. As federal agents and local police dig into what may be the biggest case in the country, we're trying to keep the basic facts straight about the young and troubled Jared Lee Loughner. Here's what we learned in the last 24 hours:

  • Gaming forum posts discovered: After some digging, the Wall Street Journal unearthed some statements authored by Loughner on an online gaming forum. Most of them dealt with an inability to get a job or a girlfriend -- or an overall, overwhelming sense of isolation. Other forum posters perceived many of them as aggressive, eventually resulting in Loughner's expulsion from the site.
  • High school drinking incident revealed: More details emerged about Loughner's history of incidents involving police. At 17, Loughner showed up at school so drunk on vodka that his school sent him to the emergency room. Loughner said he'd been drinking because his father had been yelling at him.
  • Pre-shooting traffic stop reported: In the early morning hours on the Saturday of the shooting, a police officer pulled Loughner over on an Interstate 10 access road for running a red light and issued a warning after the officer found no outstanding warrants. Pima Country Sheriff Capt. Chris Nanos told the AP "he must've had a busy morning" as Loughner also stopped at Walmart twice.
  • Loughner's father's role in attempting to stop him explained: Later on the morning of the shooting, Loughner left his house and approached his car while carrying a black bag. Before he was able to reach the car, Loughner's father stopped his son and confronted him about the bag. Loughner immediately ran off into the desert and several hours later arrived in a cab at the scene of the shooting.
  • More clues of Giffords obsession revealed: Investigators found the words “Die cops” and “Die bitch” written on the back of the letter from Gabrielle Giffords that Loughner had received in 2007.
  • Details of Loughner's lack of cooperation with authorities detailed: The US Marshall charged with guarding Loughner's cell at the Federal Correctional Institute north of Tuscon told reporters that Loughner spends his time “sitting and smirking” and refusing to answer questions.

And here's a video -- thanks ABC! -- that should provide some more context:

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Justin Spees

Justin Spees is an editorial fellow at Salon.

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Gabrielle Giffords Jared Loughner

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