Tuscon Update

“TUCSON — Ms. Giffords was in critical condition after surviving, against the odds, a single gunshot wound to the head at point-blank range. Her doctors were cautiously optimistic that she would survive…

Prosecutors charged Jared L. Loughner, a troubled 22-year-old college dropout, with five federal counts on Sunday, including the attempted assassination of a member of Congress, in connection with a shooting rampage on Saturday morning that left six people dead and 14 wounded.

Mr. Loughner, who is believed to have acted alone, is in federal custody…

Investigators here focused their attention on Mr. Loughner, whom they accused of methodically planning the shootings, which occurred outside a supermarket. The court documents said Mr. Loughner bought the semiautomatic Glock pistol used in the shooting at Sportsman’s Warehouse, which sells hunting and fishing gear, on Nov. 30 in Tucson.

The gun was legally purchased, officials said, prompting criticism of the state’s gun laws, which allow the carrying of concealed weapons. Sheriff Clarence W. Dupnik of Pima County, a critic of what he calls loose gun restrictions, bluntly labeled Arizona “Tombstone.”

Loughner has refused to cooperate with investigators and has invoked his Fifth Amendment rights, the Pima County sheriff’s office said.”


Jared L. Loughner:

“As I knew him he was left wing, quite liberal. & oddly obsessed with the 2012 prophecy,” the former classmate, Caitie Parker, wrote in a series of Twitter feeds Saturday. “I haven’t seen him since ’07 though. He became very reclusive.”

“He was a political radical & met Giffords once before in ’07, asked her a question & he told me she was ‘stupid & unintelligent,’ ” she wrote.

Mr. Wiens said that something Mr. Loughner said during a discussion about religion had stuck in his mind: “Whatever happens, happens,” Mr. Wiens recalled the suspect saying. “Might as well enjoy life now.”

Don Coorough, 58, who sat two desks in front of Mr. Loughner in a poetry class last semester, described him as a “troubled young man” and “emotionally underdeveloped.” After another student read a poem about getting an abortion, Mr. Loughner compared the young woman to a “terrorist for killing the baby.”

“No one in that class would even sit next to him,” Mr. Coorough said. Another fellow student said that he found Mr. Loughner’s behavior so eccentric — including inappropriate remarks and unusual outbursts — that he wondered if he might be on hallucinogens.


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