No mental health help before he killed six
Photo: Video by kgun9.com
Reporter: Craig Smith
TUCSON (KGUN9-TV) - Just released documents show despite long awareness of Jared Lee Loughner's bizarre behavior, he did not get mental health treatment
After Jared Lee Loughner shot 19 people and killed six of them plenty of people said they knew well before the shooting he was odd, bizarre, and probably unbalanced.
But we never heard from the people who knew him best---and may have had the best chance to get him to treatment before he could kill.
Now through reports just released we know what his parents did---and didn't do.
Jared Loughner's father Randy told Sheriff's detectives he was so worried about his son he would disable Loughner's car every night.
Loughner's mother Amy told detectives he had been acting oddly for a year.
"Sometimes he would look like he was having a conversation with someone right there," she told a detective.
Loughner's odd behavior led Pima Community College to kick him out. He could not come back without a mental health evaluation.
His father said that never happened---that Jared Loughner wouldn't talk to him.
A detective asks: "...has Jared ever been diagnosed with a mental illness?"
Randy Loughner: "No."
Detective: "Never gone to a doctor?"
Randy Loughner: "No."
Even in print, you can hear what seems like a touch of despair when the older Loughner tells a detective, "Lost, lost, and just didn't want to communicate with me no more."
Loughner's father took away a shotgun after the PCC expulsion, but did not know about the handgun used in the mass shooting.
The day of the shooting Randy Loughner was suspicious about a backpack Jared had. When he demanded to see it Jared Lougher ran away.
The next time they saw him, six people were dead and he was under arrest.
Given what we know now, the records are full of lost opportunities. A clerk at one Walmart thinks Loughner is so strange he lies and says he's out of the ammunition Loughner needs.
Loughner goes to another Walmart and gets it.
An Arizona Fish and Game officer stops Loughner for a traffic violation, but sees no reason to detain him.
In the documents, we found heroism, quick thinking, and generosity in the face of death after Jared Loughner started pulling the trigger.
In the gunfire, blood and chaos, some people managed to keep it from getting even worse.
Gifford intern Daniel Hernandez had some medical training.
He knew Gabrielle Giffords, then district director Ron Barber and outreach director Gabe Zimmerman were all badly hurt.
When he saw Zimmerman had no pulse he turned to help Giffords and Barber.
He told a detective, when he came to Barber, "He told me to stay with the Congresswoman, whatever, whatever happens, to stay with Gabby."
Hernandez propped Giffords up to keep her from choking on her blood. Her breathing was getting shallow. She seemed to be paralyzed on one side.
Hernandez was surrounded by shell casings, and remembers hearing someone notice the casings and say, "9 millimeter, she's a goner"
Those same shells brought the deadly reality home to Ron Barber.
Barber was dazed as he laid shot down. He didn't know his old friend Federal Judge John Roll had died shielding him with his body.
Barber told an investigator, "I remember seeing, right next to me, a shell casing, and I thought, damn, I know what's happened now."
Describing how Loughner did his deadly business, Barber said, "Bang, bang, bang....he was in a hurry."
When Loughner's extended clip ran out, several people tackled him, including Retired Colonel Bill Badger, even though one of Loughner's bullets had grazed his head.
Joe Zamudio was one of the people holding Loughner. He said Loughner seemed like he didn't care except for his own pain.
Zamudio says as they held him down, Loughner said, "Ow, my arm. You're breaking my arm."
Joe Zamudio has kept a low profile since the shooting. His statement to detectives shows how he kept his head. He had a gun with him when he ran towards the trouble. When he saw Loughner was down, he kept his gun out of sight, to avoid hysteria and to be sure no one would mistake him for a threat.