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Loughner’s parents acted on signs of danger before Giffords attack

JTA

March 28, 2013 | 1:06 pm

Accused gunman Jared Lee Loughner. Photo by REUTERS/U.S. Marshals Service

Accused gunman Jared Lee Loughner. Photo by REUTERS/U.S. Marshals Service

The parents of Jared Loughner, concerned by his erratic behavior, confiscated a gun and disabled his car in the months before the killing spree that critically wounded congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords.

Documents released Wednesday by the Pima County Sheriff's office in Arizona and reported in the media detail measures taken by Randy and Amy Loughner in the months after their son was asked to leave a community college because of his behavior.

They confiscated Jared Loughner's shotgun, counseled him to receive psychological treatment and had him tested for drugs. Randy Loughner would surreptitiously disable his son's Chevy Nova each evening to keep him from going out.

The morning of the Jan. 8, 2011 attack in a Tucson strip mall, Loughner came home after purchasing ammunition for another gun.

When Randy Loughner asked his son what was in his backpack, Jared Loughner ran into the woods. Within hours he had killed six people and wounded 13 at a constituent meeting in the mall parking lot held by Giffords, then a freshly reelected Democratic congresswoman from the area.

Loughner, 24, a diagnosed schizophrenic, confessed to the shootings and is serving life without the possibility of parole.

Giffords, the first Jewish woman elected to federal office from Arizona, retired a year later and remains in recovery while she leads a gun control initiative with her husband, the former astronaut Mark Kelly.

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