Arizona shooting: a week of agonizing, arguing, praying, investigating
US Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, targeted in last week's Arizona shooting, continues to improve; a Tucson Safeway store reopens; and investigators work to build their case against Jared Loughner.
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According to authorities, Loughner was up most of the night before the shooting. By their recounting of his actions, he dropped off photos for developing at a Walgreens at 12:24 a.m., and checked into a Motel 6 minutes later. By 2:30 a.m. he had retrieved the photos and returned to the motel. His MySpace activity came at 4:21 a.m. He checked out of his room before sunrise, and drove to one Wal-Mart and then a Super Wal-Mart two miles away, where he bought ammunition and a back-pack style diaper bag, in black.Skip to next paragraph
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He was in his car at 7:30 a.m., stopped by an Arizona Fish and Game official after running a red light. Released, Loughner arrived at his parents’ home, where his father sees him remove a black bag from the car and tries to question him about it. Loughner runs away on foot, and his father drives after him in pursuit, but cannot find him. At 9:41 a.m., authorities say, a taxi picks up Loughner at a Circle K store and drives him to the Safeway near where Ms. Giffords is to hold her “Congress on Your Corner” event to meet constituents. Loughner and the taxi driver enter the Safeway to break a $20 bill, so Loughner can pay the fare. That and the subsequent shooting itself, they say, are captured on the store’s surveillance cameras.
Also on Friday, Pima Community College, where Loughner had been a student, released to the Los Angeles Times a video that offers a more nuanced window on the suspect. He is alleged to have made the video and uploaded it in late September to Youtube. It was the final straw for the college, which had already dealt with complaints about him and responded to several incidents in which he was disruptive in class or at the campus library. Loughner was immediately suspended from school pending a mental health clearance.
The video, shot on the campus, does not picture Loughner but is narrated by a voice that the Times says is his. Describing him as “rambling and agitated,” the Times notes that Loughner characterizes the college as a “genocide school,” says while walking past the bookstore that “they’re controlling the grammar,” and asserts that “all the teachers you have are being paid illegally and have illegal authority over the Constitution of the United States under the 1st Amendment.”
Loughner’s attorney is expected to try to save him from execution by arguing that he is mentally ill.