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Entries in Jared Lee Loughner (42)

Friday
Jan142011

Black Bag Possibly Linked to Accused Tucson Shooter Found

Photo Courtesy - Pima County Sheriff's Department(TUCSON, Ariz.) -- A black bag believed to have been carried by Jared Lee Loughner on the morning of the Tucson strip mall shootings was found Thursday, according to the Pima County Sheriff’s Department.

It’s reported that a teenager came across the bag in a dry river bed while walking his dog not far from the Tucson house where Loughner lives with his parents.

There are also reports the bag contained several boxes of ammunition and other items purchased at a Walmart store last Saturday.

Loughner has so far been charged with five counts of shooting federal officials, including Arizona Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords, who remains in critical condition, and U.S. District Judge John Roll, one of six people killed in the attack.  State charges are pending for the others slain and wounded.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Thursday
Jan132011

Ariz.: Who is Judge Larry A. Burns and Could the Case Be Moved from Ariz.?

Photo Courtesy - Getty Images(TUCSON, Ariz.) -- After the federal judges of the Arizona district court -- all colleagues of Judge John Roll -- recused themselves from hearing U.S. v. Jared Lee Loughner, the chief judge of the 9th Circuit appointed U.S. District Court Judge Larry A. Burns to hear the case.
 
Burns, 56,  currently sits in California and was nominated to the bench by George W. Bush in May 2003. Before then, he served as an assistant U.S. attorney in California and a deputy district attorney. He is a California native and is perhaps best known for presiding over the bribery case of Rep. Randy Duke Cunningham.
 
Burns also handled the prosecution and sentencing of Javier Arellano-Felix, head of the notorious Arellano-Felix drug cartel, on murder, drug trafficking and RICO charges; and a challenge to the presence of a Latin cross on Mount Soledad in La Jolla, Calif.
 
No decision has been made on whether the case will be moved from Arizona. Loughner can file a motion on change of venue arguing that such a great prejudice exists against him that he cannot receive a fair trial in Arizona. The court then can transfer the proceeding to another district convenient to the parties, victims and witnesses. The motion can be made at or before arraignment.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Thursday
Jan132011

Jared Loughner's Ex-Girlfriend 'Knew He Had Problems'

Photo Courtesy - KGUN-TV(TUCSON, Ariz.) -- An ex-girlfriend of accused gunman Jared Loughner said she felt like she was looking at someone who had become "soulless" when she ran into the suspect just a few months prior to Saturday's massacre.

"It was like staring into somebody you didn't know," said Ashley Figueroa, who dated Loughner at Mountain View High School in Tucson, Ariz., when she was 15.

"He was different," she said in the interview with ABC News' affiliate KGUN. "He [used to have] a big heart, but I don't know what happened. I knew he had problems, but I never thought it would escalate to something like this."

Figueroa's recollection of her relationship with Loughner is shedding more light on the suspect's troubled life, one she says was devoid of any sort of parental figure.

"He had a difficult relationship with his parents," said Figueroa. "They would never let me come in the house. I couldn't understand why."

"He had definite dysfunction in his family," she said. "His father as far as I know worked a lot and kind of picked on [Loughner]. He basically didn't have parent figures. It was like having roommates for him. He lived there and [his parents] were just sort of there."

Figueroa, who didn't specify how long she dated Loughner, said that she eventually left him because of his anger management problems.

"He used to scare me sometimes," she said. "He'd make me feel uncomfortable. He'd get really mad, clench his fist and kind of have a little tantrum, he'd flail his arms and walk off."

Another former girlfriend of Loughner's, Kelsey Hawkes, told CBS' Early Show the Loughner who allegedly opened fire Saturday, killing six and injuring 14, is not the same person she dated for nearly nine months.

"The Jared that I used to know is completely changed from what the world sees him now as," said Hawkes, who said she had a positive relationship with Loughner's parents. "You know, I would never have ever expected him to become what he has."

Others have said they mark the beginning of Loughner's descent into isolation and anger to his break-up with Hawkes.

"I've just been very overwhelmed by everybody tracking me down and trying to get information out of me that I don't have, or trying to pin our breakup on his behavioral change," Hawkes told the Los Angeles Times.

They broke up six years ago in high school, she told newspaper. "What he chose to do with himself and his life between the time that we weren't dating and what he did on Saturday is far beyond me," she said.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Wednesday
Jan122011

Jared Loughner Stopped for Traffic Violation Hours Before Shooting 

Photo Courtesy - Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images(TUCSON, Ariz.) -- Accused Tucson gunman Jared Loughner ran a red light and was stopped by police last Saturday, just hours before he allegedly opened fire in a grocery store parking lot where six people died and 14 were wounded.

When the officer determined that there were no outstanding warrants for Loughner, he was allowed to proceed to his destination with a warning to drive carefully.

Loughner was stopped at approximately 7:30 a.m. on Saturday by an Arizona Game and Fish Department officer, according to a statement released by the department.

"They do not routinely make traffic stops, except when public safety is at risk, such as running a red light," read the statement. "The officer took Mr. Loughner's driver's license and vehicle registration information and ran it through dispatch. The check came back with no wants nor any outstanding warrants on either the subject or his vehicle."

Later that morning, at 10:11 a.m., Loughner allegedly shot Rep. Gabrielle Giffords in the head and sprayed the crowd around her with rounds from a 9mm Glock handgun.

Also that morning, Loughner's father saw him take a black bag out of a car trunk. When the father approached him, his mumbling son took off running and the father chased him in his car, investigators said. Police haven't said what was in the bag, but they continue to search for it.

News of Loughner's behavior on the morning of the shooting spree comes as investigators tell ABC News they are reviewing any past contacts police may have had with the suspect to determine whether the massacre could have been prevented.

Immediately after the assault on Giffords and 19 others who attended her sidewalk meeting, Dupnik said that Loughner had never been on his department's radar.

He did say, however, "There have been law enforcement contacts with individuals where he made threats...to kill."

Public records indicate that Loughner was booked by police once in 2007 for possession of drug paraphernalia and was cited in 2008 for graffiti, according to public records and media reports.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Wednesday
Jan122011

Tucson Shooting: Friend of Jared Loughner Speaks Out About Motive

Photo Courtesy - ABC News(TUCSON, Ariz.) -- Investigators are searching for a black bag that alleged Arizona gunman Jared Lee Loughner took from his family's car, as President Barack Obama heads to a memorial service to honor the victims of the shooting that left six people dead and 13 injured.

On the morning of the Tucson shootings, Loughner's father saw him take a black bag out of a car trunk. When the father approached, his mumbling son took off running and the father chased him in his car, investigators said.

Police haven't said what was in the bag, but they continue to search for it.

Meanwhile, a high school friend of the 22-year-old Loughner remembers a man starkly different from the unstable man with the piercing stare in his mugshot.

"I wish I could have helped him.... I just forgot about him, you know," Zach Osler said. "We stopped talking to each other. I wish there was something I could have did or said to help him or try to get him help. I just didn't, so that's why it's hard to look at the picture of him, it looks like a monster."

Loughner was arraigned at a federal court in Phoenix Tuesday on charges related to the deadly shooting that has left Rep. Gabrielle Giffords fighting for her life.

Giffords remains in critical condition, but doctors remain optimistic about her recovery. She is now breathing on her own.

"He wasn't shooting people, he was shooting at the world," Osler said.

Loughner's downward spiral and increasing anger began after a high school girlfriend broke up with him, Osler said. As a teen, Loughner turned to heavy drinking and drugs, such as the legal hallucinogen Salvia, Osler said.

"He would say he was using it and he would talk about it and say what [it] would do to him and I was like, 'Dude, that's screwed up.'"

Osler described the Loughner family home as uninviting.

"The house itself is kind of shrouded, it's covered up...like cold, cold dark unpleasant....I always felt unwelcome, always, like I shouldn't be there," Osler said.

Loughner's parents, Randy and Amy Loughner, did not attend his arraignment. Instead, the devastated parents issued a statement Tuesday saying they "don't understand" what prompted their son to allegedly go on a "heinous" shooting rampage.

"This is a very difficult time for us. We ask the media to respect our privacy," according to the statement. "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."

It was the first word from Loughner's family since the carnage on Saturday.

Loughner's parents have sealed themselves in their suburban Tucson home since Saturday's shooting, blocking access to the front door with a piece of wood to presumably keep people off their property.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Tuesday
Jan112011

Glock 19: How Did Unemployed Loughner Buy Expensive Pistol?

Photo Courtesy - Pima County Sheriff's Department(TUCSON, Ariz.) – Questions remain about how Jared Lee Loughner could afford the Glock 19 he allegedly used in the attempted assassination of Rep. Gabrielle Giffords. The popular firearm costs about $450, not including ammunition and magazines.

Loughner legally purchased the Glock at a Sportsman's Warehouse chain store in Tucson on Nov. 30 after completing a form and passing a background check. Walmart Inc. confirmed that Loughner tried to buy ammunition at one of its stores but was refused service due to "strange behavior," according to the FBI. He was later able to get it at another Walmart.

Sportsman's Warehouse had no comment about Loughner's method of payment. Jason Ogan, spokesman for the Pima County Sheriff's Department, said he did not have information related to Loughner's payment method either.

Loughner appeared Monday before a Phoenix judge, who assigned him two public defenders. Based on a financial affidavit that Loughner signed, the judge said he might not be able to afford defense attorneys.

Six people were killed and 14 injured in Tucson on Saturday. Giffords, shot in the left hemisphere of the brain, was in critical condition in a Tucson hospital. Loughner is charged with one federal count of attempted assassination of a member of Congress, two counts of killing an employee of the federal government, and two counts of attempting to kill a federal employee.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Tuesday
Jan112011

Parents of Alleged Tucson Shooter Distraught, Secluded

Photo Courtesy - Pima County Sheriff's Department(TUCSON, Ariz.) -- The parents of Tucson shooting suspect Jared Lee Loughner are reportedly coping with their son's alleged rampage much as they've spent their recent family life: alone and in private.

Randy and Amy Loughner have sealed themselves in their suburban Tucson home, blocking access to the front door with a piece of wood to presumably keep people off their property.

The couple did not attend their son's arraignment in federal court in Phoenix Monday, and one neighbor who's been in contact with them, but asked not to be identified, said they are distraught and grieving.

Randy Loughner is reportedly preparing to release a public statement, the first since their son was charged in connection with shooting Arizona Rep. Gabrielle Giffords and 19 other people.

Meanwhile, in the search for clues to understanding why Jared Loughner allegedly plotted an attack on Giffords' constituent event Saturday, his relationships with his parents and home environment are of increasing interest.

Pima County Sheriff Clarence Dupnik said Monday that he couldn't comment specifically on Loughner's upbringing or mental health, but he noted that his was a "somewhat dysfunctional family."

And neighbors painted a picture of a single-child home that was intensely private and increasingly insular and standoffish as Jared Loughner grew older.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Monday
Jan102011

Accused Tucson Shooter Jared Loughner Smirks in Court, Smiles for Mug Shot

Photo Courtesy - Pima County Sheriff's Department(TUCSON, Ariz.) -- Jared Loughner, the man accused of the Tucson massacre that left six dead and injured 14 others, appeared in a packed courtroom Monday shackled and in khaki prison garb, appearing to smirk as he stood before the judge.

Federal officials released Loughner's mug shot, showing him smiling into the camera despite hints of a black eye.

"Yes, I am Jared Lee Loughner," said Loughner, with a freshly shaved head, when Judge Lawrence Anderson asked him to confirm his identity.

Holding up a financial affidavit, Anderson asked Loughner, "I can't read your signature. I know how hard it is to sign with handcuffs on. Did you sign this?"

Loughner, with a fresh bruise on the side of his head, leaned forward to look at the paper and responded, "Yes I signed it. Mrs. Clarke did help me out." He referred to his court-appointed public defender, Judy Clarke.

Every federal judge in the southern district of Arizona recused themselves from the case because one of Loughner's alleged victims was federal judge John Roll.

Clarke said that she objects to "further proceedings in Arizona" on behalf of Loughner, but did not object to her client being remanded without bail. The judge told the courtroom that Loughner was a "danger to the community" before saying "Good to you" and adjourning the session.

About 80 reporters and 25 federal marshalls packed the courtroom, which appeared to be void of any of Loughner's relatives.

Loughner's next court appearance is scheduled for Jan. 24.

This is the first time Loughner has said anything since Saturday's shooting. Investigators said that Loughner had refused to speak to them since his arrest.

Loughner so far faces five federal charges: one count of attempted assassination of a member of Congress, two counts of killing an employee of the United States and two counts of intent to kill employees of the United States.

If convicted of murdering either of the federal employees, Loughner could be sentenced to death or be given life in prison.

President Obama led a moment of silence at 11 a.m. Monday and he has ordered that the country's flags be lowered to half staff in honor of the tragedy.

Among the injured is Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, the target of alleged gunman Jared Loughner's shooting rampage. Giffords remains in critical condition in a medically induced coma and with part of her skull removed to ease pressure on her brain.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Monday
Jan102011

Alleged Tucson Shooter to Make First Appearance in Federal Court Today

Photo Courtesy - Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images(PHOENIX) -- The suspect in Saturday's Tucson, Arizona shooting that left six people dead and Rep. Gabrielle Giffords critically injured is expected to be arraigned in federal court Monday.

The alleged gunman, Jared Loughner, is being tranferred 115 miles away from Tucson to Phoenix, where he will make his initial court appearance.  The 22-year-old will stand before U.S. Magistrate Judge Lawrence Anderson for the legal formality to make him aware of the five federal charges against him.

Loughner was charged with with one count of attempted assassination of a member of Congress, two counts of killing an employee of the United States and two counts of intent to kill employees of the United States.

Anderson was reappointed to the federal bench in 2006 in an order signed by U.S. District Judge John Roll, Arizona's chief federal judge.  Roll was among those killed in Saturday's shooting.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Monday
Jan102011

Jared Loughner Radically Changed Before Alleged Shooting, Friend Says

Photo Courtesy - Myspace(TUCSON, Ariz.) -- A longtime friend of Jared Lee Loughner, the suspect in custody following the murder of six people in an apparent assassination attempt on Arizona Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, said there was a mysterious, significant change in him a year before the shooting.

"He was a good person that just somehow changed so much," former classmate and friend Tong Shan told ABC News in an exclusive interview.  "I don't know what the hell happened to him."

When she heard news reports of Loughner's arrest in connection with the deadly attack, she said, "I was shocked, but I believed it was him."

According to court documents released Sunday, authorities discovered a safe in Loughner's home with a thank-you letter from Giffords for attending a Congress on Your Corner event in 2007 -- the same kind of event Loughner allegedly assaulted Saturday.  Another envelope said "I planned ahead," "My assassination" and "Giffords" and bore what appears to be Loughner's signature, the documents said.

Shan said she became friends with Loughner the day the two graduated from high school and also had class together at Pima Community College in 2007.  She said the two would hang out often after class but lost touch after the semester ended until they reconnected in the summer of 2010 when, Shan said, Loughner acted radically different.

"I don't know what might have caused him to change, but from the way he was talking to me [online]... you can see.  It was just questions and questions and random, weird questions that didn't go together," she said.  "He wanted to know everything... He would just trip out."

Said Shan, "I don't know why it didn't jump out at me, like, 'Hey, something's wrong."

Shan last spoke to Loughner in October, after he was suspended and dropped out of college and before he purchased a semi-automatic handgun from a gun shop in Tucson.  But she said while Loughner was "anti-government," he was never violent and never mentioned plans to buy a gun.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio







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