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Gabrielle Giffords shooting: newly released records portray killer as 'lost'

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Ross D. Franklin/AP/File

(Read caption) Former Rep. Gabrielle Giffords and her husband Mark Kelly leave after the sentencing of Jared Loughner in Tucson, Ariz., in November 2012. US District Judge Larry Burns sentenced Loughner to life in prison for the January 2011 attack that left six people dead and Ms. Giffords and others wounded.

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In the two years and two months since Jared Lee Loughner shot former US Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, killing six other people and wounding 13 more in a 30-second burst of 32 rounds from his 9-millimeter pistol, much has been written – and speculated – about the young man now serving multiple life sentences for his admitted massacre.

That violent episode on a sunny street in a supermarket parking lot in Casas Adobes, Ariz., near Tucson, where a crowd of her constituents had come to meet Representative Giffords, also helped spur a new burst of political agitation for strengthening gun control measures.

On Wednesday morning, nearly 3,000 pages of new information about the shooting were released by the Pima County Sheriff’s Office. They are sure to color the debate over guns as well how mentally ill persons with a tendency to disruptive behavior if not violence are treated – including whether they should have access to firearms.

The documents include everything from interviews with survivors and victims to police reports filed from the scene of the crime, providing new insight into how the shooting occurred and Mr. Loughner’s motives, the Associated Press reports.

Journalists are now poring over the documents, including reporters at the Arizona Republic newspaper who are live-blogging the information as they read through it. One example:

“Jared Loughner’s behavior was disturbing and erratic enough that his father began disabling his car at night to keep him at home in the months leading up to the January 2011 shooting at a supermarket near Tucson, according to the investigative documents released Wednesday.”

Other reports detail his parents concern as their son became increasingly erratic and non-communicative.

Loughner's mother, Amy, described his run-ins with authorities, his use of marijuana and cocaine, his journals, and his increasingly erratic behavior, the AP reports. 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.

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."


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