Tucson suspect had made death threats

2011-01-09 17:49

Tucson - The suspect in Saturday's shooting rampage in which a US congresswoman was critically wounded was unstable and had been known to make death threats in the past, the local sheriff said.

The FBI is investigating whether the man is the same person who posted a rambling internet manifesto accusing the government of mind control and demanding a new currency.

Jared Lee Loughner, 22, of Tucson, was taken into custody moments after the shooting at a political meeting held by Democratic Representative Gabrielle Giffords in a supermarket parking lot. Six people died and Giffords had a critical head wound.

Sheriff Clarence Dupnik of Pima County, where the shooting happened, told reporters the suspect had a troubled past. "All I can tell you is that this person may have a mental issue," Dupnik said.

Dupnik said there had been earlier contact between Loughner and law enforcement after he had made death threats, although they had not been against Giffords. He said the authorities believe he may not have been working alone.

Video postings

In a series of YouTube videos, a person identifying himself as Jared Lee Loughner complains about government mind control, treasonous laws, illiterate dreamers and the US currency.

"The government is implying mind control and brainwash on the people by controlling grammar," the person wrote in one of the videos, which contain music and white text on a black background.

"No! I won't pay debt with a currency that's not backed by gold and silver. No, I won't trust in God."

The postings describe no coherent political ideology, said Mark Potok, an investigator with the Southern Poverty Law Centre, which tracks violent extremists. Loughner was not in the centre's database of hate groups and radicals.

"He certainly sounds like he's gone off the deep end, but at the same time, he is mouthing some rhetoric that is quite reminiscent of the anti-government movement ... It's hard to know what to make of his ideology."

A federal law enforcement official said the FBI was trying to establish whether the shooting suspect was the same person who posted the videos.

'Conscience dreaming'

In a biographical sketch on the site, Loughner writes that he attended Tucson-area schools and says his favourite books include Adolf Hitler's Mein Kampf, Karl Marx's Communist Manifesto, and Ken Kesey's One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest, set in an insane asylum.

"My favourite activity is conscience dreaming: the greatest inspiration in my political business information," the writer of the post says.

"He has kind of a troubled past and we're not convinced that he acted alone," Pima County Sheriff Clarence Dupnik said in a news conference in reference to the suspect.

Roger Whithed, 52, a construction worker who lives two doors down from Loughner, said of the suspect: "He was a kind of on-the-edge of society type guy, blue jeans, baseball cap, one of those guys who hasn't really figured it out.

"A little rebellious looking, didn't look like he was working really or doing anything productive," he said.

Grant Wiens, 22, was a year ahead of Loughner at Mountain View High School in Tucson, and was recently in a biology class with him at a local community college. He remembers Loughner smoked heavily and occasionally smoked marijuana.

"You never expect this to happen, regardless of how well you know someone. I think I would have said he would have been more likely to do it than some people, just a gut instinct," he said.

"There was something about his personality, but nothing I can put my finger on. ... He was smart, opinionated, but maybe a little troubled."

Wiens said he never mentioned Giffords, guns or politics. "He was opinionated, though he got along with people, he never seemed to care what people thought."

Read more on:    us  |  us shooting
NEXT ON NEWS24X
SHARE:

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
0 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
 

Inside News24

 
/News

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Jobs in Western Cape region

Qlkview Developer ( Snr )

Cape Town Northern Suburbs
Hi-Tech Recruitment - Cape Town
R280 000 - R330 000 Per Year

Job: PHP Developer Leading Digital Marketing Agency, Cape Town, R30 000 – R45 000

Cape Town
Initiate International
R30 000 - R45 000 Per Month

Audit Manager

Western Cape
SET Recruitment Consultants
R450 000 - R550 000 Per Year

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Magical Massinga

Spend 5 nights at the gorgeous Massinga Beach Lodge in Mozambique and only pay for 4 from R13 220 per person sharing. Includes return flights, accommodation, transfers and romantic turndown. Book now!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

20% off all TV Series!

Want to have a chilled day at home? Get 20% off TV series, the perfect excuse to "veg out". Shop now!

Save R700 on the Hisense LED TV Now R2499

Get the Hisense 32” HD ready LED TV for only R2499. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Up to 40% off fashion accessories

Save up to 40% on selected handbags, purses, watches, jewellery and more. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Save up to R2000 on top electronics

Get every day mind bowing savings on top electronics. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

As seen on TV - New book releases at only R199 each

Get mind blowing book savings on new titles. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

Your ideas may feel like a sea of thoughts swimming around every which way, and now you need to find something to contain them in...read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.








Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.