Jared Lee Loughner
Arizona authorities have identified Jared Lee Loughner, 22, as the man who allegedly opened fire at a public event in Tucson, Arizona, striking U.S. Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords in the head. They’re also seeking a second, unnamed person of interest, citing reason to believe that the gunman did not act alone. According to Caitie Parker, who says she has known Loughner for years, he apparently met Giffords once in 2007, and described her as “stupid and unintelligent.” Loughner, initially reported as a possible veteran, once attempted to enlist but was rejected, according to the U.S. military.
In early October, Laughner allegedly posted an eerie video in which he, wearing a trash bag and a hoodie and a giant mask, sets an American flag on fire, with the song “Bodies” by Drowning Pool playing in the background.
Law enforcement officials have confirmed the gun that was used in the attack was bought legally. The shooter, allegedly Loughner, reportedly fired on Giffords from about four feet away, sending her to the hospital with critical wounds, injuring 18 people in total and killing six, including a child and a federal judge. The gun was purchased on November 30 at Sportman’s Warehouse, in Tucson, and was bought along with at least one additional handgun.
Pictures have also surfaced allegedly showing Loughner volunteering at a book festival, and from his MySpace profile. Loughner listed reading as his favorite interest, and identified a slew of classics as his favorite books, including The Republic, The Odyssey, The Communist Manifesto, and Mein Kampf.