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Police depict a busy, focused Loughner on morning of shooting

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In the hours before the assassination attempt against Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, Jared Loughner went to Walmart, was pulled over for running a red light and ran from his father after an angry confrontation.

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Washington Post Staff Writers
Saturday, January 15, 2011; 8:33 AM

TUCSON - Far from the undisciplined, semi-delusional dropout described by friends, Jared Lee Loughner appeared to be a young man with laser focus when it came to planning and carrying out a shooting spree outside a strip-mall Safeway last week, local law enforcement authorities alleged Friday.

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They released new information showing that, starting shortly before midnight the night before the shooting, Loughner, 22, zig-zagged across this southwestern city for hours checking off a final to-do list: He booked a room at a Motel 6, bought ammunition at a Super Wal-Mart, and purchased more items at Circle K and Chevron stores.

And he found time to post a final message on MySpace: "Goodbye friends," it stated, and he uploaded a photo.

Loughner's final movements, disclosed by the Pima County Sheriff's Office in a detailed timeline, appear to show a busy morning. And the night before, he had dropped off a roll of film at a Walgreens store that perhaps was to be a final insult to the victims of the devastation.

Although the sheriff's office declined to say what the photos showed, other law enforcement sources said they included pictures of Loughner wearing a red G-string and holding a gun near his buttocks. The FBI, which has custody of the pictures and a supermarket surveillance video that captured the shooting, declined to comment.

In all, six people were killed and 13 wounded, including Rep. Gabrielle Giffords (D-Ariz.), who had been speaking with constituents when Loughner allegedly opened fire with a Glock 19 semiautomatic about 10:10 a.m. Saturday.

As law enforcement officials released the new information about Loughner's movements, a funeral was held Friday for one of the victims, federal District Court Judge John M. Roll.

Meanwhile, doctors announced that all survivors of the shooting were showing signs of improvement. Nine of the 13 wounded have been released from the hospital, and three remain there in good condition, said Peter Rhee, medical director at University Medical Center in Tucson.

Giffords is in critical condition, but she has begun to open her eyes more frequently and respond to commands, said the medical center's chief neurosurgeon, G. Michael Lemole Jr.

Giffords is "beginning to carry out more complex sequences of events, more complex sequences of activity, in response to our commands or even spontaneously," Lemole said.

Over the past week, local and federal law enforcement officials have been piecing together what happened in the days and moments before the shooting. They had previously known that Loughner bought a Glock 19 handgun and a box of ammunition Nov. 30, but the discovery Thursday of a black diaper bag carrying receipts and papers has provided significantly more information.

According to the timeline authorities compiled, Loughner took the following actions:


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