On Saturday, 8 January 2011, the residents of Tucson, Arizona fell down in tears, as Jared Lee Loughner, attempted to assinate US Reprsenative Gabrielle Giffords (D-Arizona). At the time, Giffords was meeting with consitituents. (6) six innocent bystanders were killed and (14) fourteen others, wounded in the shooting; including a 90year old child. Loughner shot Giffords in the head and remains in stable condidtion. Also killed, was a federal judge and a congressional aide.
- 1st-Degree Murder
- Attempted Murder of a private citizen
- Attempted Murder of a member of Congress
- Attempted Muder of Federal Employees
- Additional Charges, pending
Loughner was expected to appear in federal court today at 2:00 p.m., EST in Phoenix, Arizona. Apparently several witnesses helped tackle and subdue the perpetrator. Loughner will be represented by Judy Clarke, a public offender. Loughner has invoked his 5-th Ammendment Right against self-incrimination and as a result, he has refused to speak with investigators.
Interestingly, Loughner had attended a similar event that included the Congresswoman and a letter at his residence was disovered by police that was addressed to the defenant and from Giffords thanking him for attending the 2007 event. The mere fact that he held on to a letter from one of his victims suggests that he may have had an obsession with Giffords. Also, there was no violation of Loughner’s expectancy of privacy when the letter was discovered. He lives with his parents and they can grant permission for the authorities to search the home. Thus, his 4-th Ammendment rights against unlawful searches was not violated either.
Investigators have not found anything connecting Loughner to extremist groups, so his motive is undertermined at this time. However, Loughner railed against government “mind control,” being surrounded by people he considered illiterate and the illegitimacy of the U.S. government. Allegedly, one of Loughner’s school instructors, Ben McGahee, thought that he might be a threat to others and subsequently kicked him out of the class. According to McGahee, Loughner was physically removed from the algebra course at Pima Community College in June 2010. Further, McGahee, stated that at times, Loughner, blurted out things and appeared to be under influences of drugs. Although, not excusing his actions, these incidents were do not appear to have been with merit of proof that he was under the influences of illegal drugs, or that he might have suffered from a psychological disorder. Therefore, it is plausible, that these false alligations by the instructor could inadvertly help Loughner’s defense. In class, McGahee said Loughner accused him of violating his free-speech rights: “And of course free speech is limited in the classroom.”
According to McGahee, “I was scared of what he could do,” McGahee said. “I wasn’t scared of him physically, but I was scared of him bringing a weapon to class.” Loughner “needed psychological help,” and McGahee said he was not surprised to hear his former student was the suspect in Saturday’s bloodbath. “This guy was mentally disturbed. He was very isolated,” he said.
Apparently, Loughner attempted to list in the Army in 2008, but was denied for undisclosed reasons.
The 9-mm handgun that was used in the shootings was purchased at a gun store in November, and, alegedly he attempted to purchase ammunition at a Walmart store but was denied due to his odd behaviior but he drove to another Walmart store, and was able to purchase everything.
So, if the instructor thought that one of his students was a threat to society, then should some of the blame be directed towards the school for not reporting him to the local police department?