Jared Loughner's Previous Contacts With Police Tell Tale of Substance Abuse, Possible Bullying, and Troubled Family Life

loughner mugshot.jpg
Jared Loughner had contact with Pima County sheriff's deputies at least four times prior to Saturday's shooting rampage.
In an attempt to clear up any misconceptions that the Pima County Sheriff's Office had prior knowledge of death threats made by Jared Loughner -- accused of shooting 19 people, six of whom are dead, in Tucson over the weekend -- the Sheriff's Office released all the paperwork documenting its contact with the Loughner family dating back to 1994.

As the PCSO has maintained, in none of the documents does it show that Loughner was accused of making any death threats against anyone -- although, as noted by the PCSO, that doesn't mean death threats made by Loughner weren't reported to other law enforcement agencies.

In four separate incidents in which Loughner had contact with sheriff's deputies, he demonstrated bizarre behavior -- even when he was a victim -- to officers. Accounts of those incidents paint a picture of a substance-abusing, troubled kid who had a strained relationship with his father.

In a 2006 incident, the PCSO was called by the principal of the Mountain View High School who reported that Loughner was so drunk in school that he had to be taken to the Northwest Hospital Emergency Room. It was 9 a.m.

At the hospital, Loughner told police he'd been drinking vodka. A crying Loughner then told deputies he was drinking because he was upset his father had yelled at him.

During another incident, in 2004, a classmate of Loughner's pricked him with a pin while the two were in the school's cafeteria. Loughner, as described in the incident report, "became pale, got dizzy, could not stand, and had to be helped to the nurse's office by another friend."

Loughner's strange reaction to a seemingly minor injury only happened after a friend told him he was poked with the needle. Loughner said he wanted to discuss pressing charges against the student with his parents before filing any complaint.

Loughner's parents decided not to press charges against the other student but requested that he get an HIV test.

In a 2007 incident, Loughner and a friend were stopped by police as they were smoking pot in the friend's mini-van.

When a deputy asked if he could search him, Loughner told the deputy "he had a right to say no." Loughner never actually said no, though. He again told the officer he had a right to refuse the search, but never said the officer couldn't search him.

The officer writes in his report: "due to the vague answer, I decided not to push the situation any further."

In another incident, in October of 2008, Loughner called police to report that he suspected his identity had been stolen.

He told deputies he Googled himself and found his picture posted on a Web site called PeekYou.com -- Loughner told the officer he suspected an old friend named "Alex" was responsible for posting it.

The deputy asked for more information on "Alex," like his address, and noted that Loughner "was slow to respond to my questions. He often hesitated as if he was trying to think of an explanation...I advised him that if he didn't know, then he could just say that and that was fine."

The deputy called a cell phone number for "Alex" provided by Loughner but got no answer.

Loughner told the deputy in a phone interview later that he had been in touch with "Alex" since filing the report. He says "Alex" had no idea what he was talking about.

Check back to Valley Fever throughout the day for further updates on the Tucson shooting.

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Death By Insanity
Death By Insanity

In all the postings I've made to New Times, I have made many references to Methamphetamine - the mother of all controlled substances. My most recent posting was "TEDDY BARE" on the story of the dude inviting police to come and s--k it behind a motel. I intended that as comedy and it was received as such.I will tell you that after better than 33 years of experience shooting all injectable drugs, that Meth shit is nothing funny, and nothing to fuck with.It offers the user the proverbial "walk on the wild side". Quality produced product administered in the correct amount will be an experience unique to all others. And that is the problem. It's fun, but also dangerous in that, for some, it produces strident halucinations of a sexual nature that the person may not be able to restrict. No problem if you're locked in your home - big problem if you're in the alley masturbating when the cops arrive. And then there are others whose psychological construct is such that - in the absense of exposure to Meth., they might slough their way through life OK. But with the Meth monster on site, the fine line between forgivable weirdness and absolute insanity may become torn. Use over a period of days may be all it takes to push the person off the deep-end... and they're not able to return, ever. I've watched many people's sanity degrade to a distasteful state, and they will keep smoking the pipe.But pot ? I have never known any user of Cannibus to drop the facade of sanity and open fire in a parking lot on anyone who looks like they're breathing... and think it is funny.The story that James King - a journalist who has earned my sincere respect - has written does not demonstrate Mr. Loughner as a monster traveling in the shadow of madness, Instead it is just another story of an American youngster trying to grow into adulthood, a story no different from almost all the rest.So the question remains: Just when did the mechanics of Jared's brain fail him for the final time and allow him to think that mass murder would be a cool way to kick off the weekend ? I will not qualify him as victim. Mr. Loughner is now in his own world where he feels safe. Steve Tracy of Phoenix...


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James King
James King

Steve, I loved your post on the manic masturbater. Falling out of a tree while jacking off demonstrates the depravity of meth use at a comedic, yet tragic, level. Thanks for chiming in here. It seems to me Mr. Loughner's brain, as you so eloquently put it, "failed him for the last time" when he got alcohol poisoning. It was the last straw. He was kicked out of school and it seemed like the last in a series of problems he had while attending high school. I spoke with a friend of Loughner's who says that was when he really "checked out" and stopped talking to people.I have a good friend who suffers from paranoid schizophrenia. He calls me occasionally and tells me about how he met Osama Bin Laden while homeless in San Francisco and how the Israeli military is trying to kill him. In other calls he blames me for conspiracy theories I've never heard of. He lives back in New York, but it's still scary to know someone who suffers from the same disease Loughner (I would assume) probably suffers thinks about me somewhere in his lost mind. The most chilling thing about Loughner's photo -- and accounts of his behavior while in custody from U.S. Marshal David Gonzalez, as I wrote about earlier today -- is he gives this look of satisfaction, as though he's been planning this for a long time and he's finally achieved his goal and is relishing in it. It's sick, man. Like my friend, Loughner apparently got lost along the way thanks to mental demons he probably couldn't fight off. The man we see now is very different from the boy described to me by his friend. Is he a victim? Of course not. He's a fucking psychopath. Whether he could help that will be sorted out in court.

Your comments are great, thanks,


James King
James King

And I'm not sure if I made the comment previously, but TEDDY BARE! was the funniest fucking name used by a commenter -- given the story -- since I've been at New Times.

Steve Tracy
Steve Tracy

Mr. King,

I few talents in life, but I would have loved to have been a journalist. Unfortunately, my accidental love affair with with the insuline syringe interrupted and ultimately killed off all possibilities of maintaining such a desire; and many other desires as well.I am, however, one of the fortunate ones. I have survived more than half century of life... to become a New Times blogger, one of the few things I do for an acceptable form of entertainment.If only Mr. Loughner could have found a similar release for his mind.

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