Records Provide New Look at Ariz. Shooting Spree

By: Associated Press
By: Associated Press

PHOENIX -- Authorities investigating the shooting rampage that killed six people and wounded Rep. Gabrielle Giffords and 11 others compiled nearly 3,000 pages of documents that provide a fresh glimpse into the 2011 attack.

The documents released Wednesday detail the erratic behavior of the gunman, a tense interrogation and the chaos that enveloped the bloody scene.

Jared Lee Loughner was polite and cooperative but complained of feeling sore as authorities began their hours-long initial interview of the gunman.

At one point Loughner said, "I'm about ready to fall over."

Also in the documents, Giffords intern Daniel Hernandez described how Giffords squeezed his hand as he held her after the shooting.

The documents on the shooting outside a Safeway where Giffords was hosting a meet-and-greet with constituents have been kept private since the January 2011 attack.

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TUCSON, Ariz. -- As authorities investigated the rampage that killed six people and wounded Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, they compiled nearly 3,000 pages of documents that include everything from interviews with survivors and victims to police reports filed from the scene of the crime. The documents were released Wednesday, and provide new insight into how the shooting occurred and the motivations behind gunman Jared Loughner. A look at some of the notable findings:

LOUGHNER

The gunman was polite and cooperative with authorities who were holding him the afternoon following his morning shooting rampage. The conversation as Loughner sat in restraints in an interview room was mainly small talk. Little was said over the four hours. Loughner asks at one point if he can please use the restroom and says "Thank you" when allowed. At another point he complained that "I'm about ready to fall over."

GUNMAN'S MOTHER

Loughner's mother, Amy, described his run-ins with authorities, his use of marijuana and cocaine, his journals and his increasingly erratic behavior. She also says the parents took a shotgun away from Loughner after he was kicked out of a community college and tested him for drugs because his behavior was so strange.

GUNMAN'S FATHER

Randy Loughner said his son became increasingly difficult, and it was a challenge to have a rational conversation with him. "I tried to talk to him. But you can't, he wouldn't let you," he said "Lost, lost, and just didn't want to communicate with me no more."

He said his says son has never been diagnosed with mental illness but he "just doesn't seem right lately."

GUNS

Loughner bought a 12-gauge shotgun in 2008, but his parents took it away from him after he was expelled from college and administrators recommended that any firearms be taken away. The shotgun was the only firearm his parents knew Loughner owned.

THE SCENE

Giffords intern Daniel Hernandez helped tend to his boss after she was shot in the head. In an interview, he described the chaos: "She couldn't open her eyes. I tried to get any responses for her. Um, it looked like her left side was the only side that was still mobile. Um, she couldn't speak. It was mumbled. She was squeezing my hand."

"I did some training as a Certified Nursing Assistant and as a phlebotomist, um, when I was in high school. So I knew that we need to see if she's got a pulse. She was still breathing. Her breathing was getting shallower. Uh, I then lifted her up so that she wasn't flat on the ground against the wall," he said.

CARING FOR GIFFORDS

A firefighter described how he cared for Giffords after arriving at the scene. "You'd ask her to grab your hand and she would grab your hand," he said. He and paramedics rushed her to the hospital in an ambulance, giving her oxygen and an IV.

THE ENCOUNTER

Hernandez described how constituents and other people were lining up to see Giffords, and he was helping people sign in. He recalled handing Loughner a clipboard. "The next thing I hear is someone yell gun," he said.

LOUGHNER FRIEND

One-time Loughner friend Zachary Osler was an employee at a store where the gunman later bought a Glock before the shooting. He was questioned about seeing Loughner shopping inside, sometime before Thanksgiving. He describes an awkward encounter with his former friend. "His response is nothing. Just a mute facial expression. And just like he, he didn't care." Osler told investigators he had grown uncomfortable with Loughner's personality, "He would say he could dream and then control what he was doing while he was dreaming." Osler says Loughner never mentioned Giffords to him.

REACTION

Osler said when he learned that Loughner was the suspect in the shooting, "my jaw just dropped. And I was like I know this person. Why he would do it? What would his motive be? If he had people help him? I do not know."

POSSESSIONS

Police reports show what authorities found in Loughner's possession after the shooting. In Loughner's left front pocket were two magazines for a Glock. They were both fully loaded. In his other front pocket was a foldable knife with about a 4-inch blade. In his back right pocket, he had a baggie with some money, a Visa credit card and his Arizona driver's license. He was wearing a black beanie, a black hoodie-type sweatshirt, khaki pants and Sketchers shoes.

WITNESS

A witness described seeing an ominous-looking man in his early 20s near the Safeway while wearing a backpack. The witness later described recognizing Loughner as the same person from photos on the news.


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