The Washington Post

Court documents: Police found evidence of Loughner’s obsession with Giffords

Newly released documents from the investigation into the Tucson shooting rampage reveal that police found two shotguns in the home of suspect Jared Lee Loughner along with what authorities say is evidence of his obsession with Rep. Gabrielle Giffords (D-Ariz.).

One scribbled note that investigators found in a safe in his home said, “I planned ahead! My assassination. Love – Jared – Giffords.”

Loughner faces federal charges in the Jan. 8 mass shooting that injured Giffords and 12 others, and killed six people, including a federal judge and a 9-year-old girl. He has pleaded not guilty.

The new details about Loughner were released after U.S. District Judge Larry A. Burns of San Diego ordered the partial unsealing of court records during a hearing Wednesday in Tucson.

Among the new details in the documents:

l When Loughner was tackled by bystanders after the shooting, he was wearing earplugs and had two handgun magazines in his front pocket.

l Loughner’s parents told detectives that he kept a shotgun in the trunk of his green Chevy Nova. According to the search warrant, two 12-gauge shotguns were recovered from the garage.

l The documents describe a letter sent to Loughner by Giffords’s staff with his name misspelled as “Loughney.” An FBI affidavit says Giffords’s staff reported that Loughner used the incorrect name when he signed in at a “Congress on Your Corner” event in 2007.

l Loughner’s parents told investigators that on the morning of the shooting their son arrived home and removed a backpack from the trunk of his vehicle. “He went inside the home, and the parents tried to talk to Mr. Loughner,” according to the affidavit for the search warrant. “He would not talk to them. And he eventually took off running.”

l Detectives found a journal in Loughner’s residence, but the contents were not described.

l Investigators found a note that said, “What is government if words don’t have meaning?”

Meanwhile, a Giffords aide said Thursday that the congresswoman, who is recovering from her wounds at a Houston hospital, would travel to Cape Canaveral next month to watch her husband launch into space aboard the shuttle Endeavor.

Sari Horwitz covers the Justice Department and criminal justice issues nationwide for The Washington Post, where she has been a reporter for 30 years.


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