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January 11th, 2011
01:00 PM ET

Time.com: Loughner's six warning signs

(Time.com) - In retrospect, it's easy to see the evidence that Tucson, Ariz., shooter Jared Loughner was mentally unstable. In his community-college classes, he would laugh randomly and loudly at nonevents. He would clench his fists and regularly pose strange, nonsensical questions to teachers and fellow students. "A lot of people didn't feel safe around him," a former classmate told Fox News.

Given these facts and the horrific turn of events at a Safeway supermarket on Jan. 8 that left six dead and 14 others injured, including Representative Gabrielle Giffords, who remains in critical condition, could anything have been done to prevent the violence? What signs that trouble lay ahead were missed? What signs were observed but ignored? In short, what can be done to prevent a potentially ill or unstable person from harming others?

Full story on Time.com


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soundoff (12 Responses)
  1. Kim

    The National Alliance on Mental Illness is raising awareness about state budget cuts impacting mental health coverage across the nation.$2 billion cut from state mental health coverage nationwide.Weird how that's never entered the conversation and needs to with the current administration and a message that needs to be brought to the awareness of American citizens.What states have been hit with the deepest cuts ? Arizona is one state that has ! We need prevention in place to support our mental health and the budget cuts aren't helping.The Community College and teachers as well as students called attention to concerns but did this young man recieve psychological support ? How much follow up with limited resources in education across the USA with hard budget cuts played a part in this tragedy for lack of prevention ? Kinda think drugs played a part in his behavior changes and was he smoking crack and they thought it was pot ?

    January 12, 2011 at 10:02 am |
  2. catherine sorriero

    I think it is crucial that high schools are able to identify mental illness while child is still at a young age so medication can be started early so symptoms to not progress to extremes. I don't think this tragedy would have happened if this boy were on medication. My grandson had similar symptoms in high school such as odd behavior. He had a psychological was diagnosed with schizophrenia/bipolar and is now on medication and doing well. It must be caught early. Grandmother in Connecticut

    January 12, 2011 at 9:40 am |
  3. Linda

    You talk about troubled child. I too have a troubled child. Tried taking him to counseling after he threatened to stab his mother and wanted me dead. He tried to kick out my windshield and the police would do nothing in Vassar, mi. I ended up having to send him to his alcoholic father who up to now had only one day a week visitation of which he had to do without alcohol so hardly ever seen his son. And now pay him 600 dollars a month childsupport of which he does nothing for the child. He is still withdrawn, and failing school. failed the 8th grade, then kicked out of 9th grade (he just threw his papers on the floor and refused to do his work)and now failing adult education. How do you get help for a child like this who is refusing to do help? I wrote Dr. Phil with no answer,and to others on the tv who said they helped troubled teens. and got the answer that if you really needed help to go to an organization near you. It isn't as easy as you talk about to get the help for your child.His father has party everyday and doesn't work,,we pay him disability and several of his family members as well, under 50 yrs old.and now my son is liking that kind of life even though they have nothing, there are no rules and no expectations. Can you help? I am a nurse since 1992 raised 4 other children without consequence they are all college students and hard working. Need help with this 16 year old before he hurts someone. His anger runs deep, he used to clear the counters with his arms and put holes in his bedroom walls when I would try to make him go to school.I tried the good old fashioned spankings,that turned into me wanting to really hurt him, leaving me crying and him laughing. I tried the taking away everything he doesn't care about things.Thank you for listening.

    January 12, 2011 at 5:46 am |
  4. Ida

    Not all people who suffer mental illness run around shooting people. Talk about the stigma attached to mental illness

    January 12, 2011 at 12:27 am |
  5. Jim St. James

    Where were the city and or county police when this tragedy took place? Why is NO ONE talking about the lack of police presence at an event of this nature.?????

    Why weren't the police at the event?

    January 12, 2011 at 12:17 am |
  6. Kim

    What's he reading on all the anti government mind control theory by where he associates grammer to control and makes reference ? Is he reading the Montaul Project and puffin dubie's ? David Icke,Cisco or Wheeler ? Is he reading Dr. John Coleman ? Is he reading the Conspirators Hierarchy, The Story of the Committee 300 ? Did anyone hand this young man a referal to a psychologist at the Community College and was he under care of a psychologist ?

    January 11, 2011 at 10:16 pm |
  7. Allan in Canada

    It's simple. make guns more difficult for everyone to get. Then mentally unstable people won't have guns..... It's not up to the school to prevent this. American society needs to start now....

    January 11, 2011 at 10:11 pm |
  8. Gene Richel MSW, GMHS.

    The State Hospital systems have gotten a bum wrap over the years, sure there were abuses. But is letting mentally ill people roam the streets homeless, becoming victims themselves or victimizing others as in Tucson a more compassionate alternative? There frankly are some individuals who should never live outside a mental institution's safe walls, care and regulation, that's the simple truth. People can discuss less restrictive alternatives all they wish, it doesn't change the fact that some unfortunate people are so mentally ill they are dangerous, many won't comply with treatment, they need a structured environment that a mental hospital will provide.

    January 11, 2011 at 10:06 pm |
  9. La Toya - Phx, AZ

    Dear Anderson,

    I don't beleive that even if Jared Loughner's parents had sought a Mental Health Eval through the state, it would have changed the sad and tragic events of last Saturday.

    Yes, Arizona is one of the few states where anyone can petition the courts to have someone committed for a Mental Health Eval, but the problem is that person can only be held for 48 hours, and it becomes public record on who requested the evaluation. , which can be scary for the person who petitioned for the evaluation in the first place. It was my families experience with this law that after 48, we were not even notified that the person had been released. –Very Scary!!

    January 11, 2011 at 10:05 pm |
  10. sandra lewis

    my payer go out to all the family who have suffer such a terrible lost. but have faith God will punish Sarah Palin for her hatred.

    January 11, 2011 at 9:29 pm |
  11. Kat Nanton

    Will you tell your audience that Loughner worked for Giffords' election campaign in 2007, and that Giffords subscribed to Loughner's website. Or will you continue to try to blame it on Republicans? You are totally a liar if you don't tell the whole story instead of just the tidbits that suit your agenda and your propaganda.

    January 11, 2011 at 8:12 pm |
  12. Michele

    How many mass shootings do we have to go through to finally realize that the mental health care system is broken. Many parents, siblings and spouses continually try to get their loved ones, the medical care and medications they so need, only to encounter dead ends.
    When mental health care isn't available to those who need it, this will inevitably be the end result in many instances. If we want these senseless shootings to stop, we need to stop ignoring the lack of available and affordable mental health care. God bless President Obama for taking the first step aimed at directing attention to our broken health care system. We should all hope that these changes include the mental health system too.

    January 11, 2011 at 7:40 pm |