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Sunday
Jan092011

Jared Lee Loughner: School Wanted Mental Evaluation

Photo Courtesy - MySpace(TUCSON, Ariz.) -- Jared Lee Loughner, the suspect in custody following the murder of six people in an apparent assassination attempt on Arizona Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, purchased a semi-automatic handgun two months after his college said he would have to undergo a mental evaluation before returning from suspension, sources told ABC News.

The gun, a Glock 19 9mm, was purchased legally from a sports store in Tucson on Nov. 30, 2010, federal law enforcement officials told ABC News. Two months before, on Oct. 7, Pima Community College sent a letter to Loughner's parents stating that if Loughner wished to return to the school, he would have to "obtain a mental health clearance indicating, in the opinion of a mental health professional, his presence at the College does not present a danger to himself or others," the school said in a statement.

The school said Loughner had as many as five run-ins with campus police for "classroom and library disruptions," and was suspended after college police discovered a YouTube video apparently created by Loughner in which he claimed the college is "illegal." Rather than return to school, Loughner dropped out, the statement said.

Prima County Sheriff Clarence Dupnik, who only identified the shooter as a 22-year-old white male, said the evidence online and information they've received from two schools that Loughner attended led him to believe the gunman was "unstable."

Despite being shot in the head, Congresswoman Giffords survived the attack and doctors said Saturday they were "optimistic" about her recovery. Federal judge John Roll, a 9-year-old girl, and a member of Giffords' staff were killed in the attack. The staff member, Gabe Zimmerman, was Giffords' director of community outreach.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

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