Jared Lee Loughner Biography

Murderer (1988–)
In January 2011, Jared Lee Loughner attempted to assassinate U.S. Representative Gabrielle Giffords. Six people were killed and 13 injured in his shooting spree.


Jared Lee Loughner was born in Arizona on September 10, 1988. On January 8, 2011, Loughner fired a gun at a Tucson event where Democratic Representative Gabrielle Giffords was meeting constituents. His attack killed six people and wounded 13—Giffords was shot in the head but survived her injuries. In November 2012, Loughner was sentenced to seven life terms and 140 years in prison without parole.

Troubled Early Life

Jared Lee Loughner was born in Arizona on September 10, 1988. His parents, Randy and Amy, raised their son in a northern Tucson subdivision.

Loughner reportedly started showing symptoms of schizophrenia while still in high school. In addition to writing and saying nonsensical things, his thinking was disorganized. He also developed a paranoid obsession with the U.S. Constitution.

After high school, Loughner enrolled at Pima Community College, where he sometimes acted in a manner that one classmate described as "wildly inappropriate." Loughner's odd behavior included making disturbing remarks about terrorism.

In the fall of 2010, Loughner was suspended from Pima after repeatedly causing disruptions at the school and posting troubling YouTube videos—in one video, he stated that the college was "illegal." Instead of meeting the school's requirement that he provide a mental health assessment stating he was not "a danger to himself or others," Loughner subsequently withdrew from the college.

"I can't trust the current government because of fabrications. The government is implying mind control and brainwash on the people by controlling grammar."

After dropping out of Pima, Loughner's parents became increasingly worried about his behavior. In time, his father began disabling Loughner's car in order to make sure his son stayed home at night. Loughner also continued to share his radical anti-government views on YouTube.


On January 8, 2011, Loughner showed up at a Tucson grocery store where Democratic Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords was conducting a meet-and-greet event. Armed with a Glock pistol that he had legally purchased in November 2010, Loughner proceeded to fire 31 shots in approximately 30 seconds.

Giffords was hit in the head during Loughner's shooting spree, one of the 13 people injured in the attack. Loughner also killed six people who had been at the event: Christina-Taylor Green, 9; congressional aide Gabriel M. Zimmerman, 30; District Judge John M. Roll, 63; Dorothy J. Morris, 76; Dorwan C. Stoddard, 76; and Phyllis C. Schneck, 79.

After the shooting, investigators uncovered an envelope inside a safe at Loughner's home. On it were the handwritten words "I planned ahead," "My assassination" and "Giffords."

Giffords survived the close-range shooting, but was critically wounded. Her injuries compromised her speech and vision, and also left her right arm and leg paralyzed.


Loughner initially pleaded not guilty to the charges against him, which included murder and attempted murder. After a mental evaluation that resulted in a diagnosis of schizophrenia, Loughner was declared incompetent to stand trial in May 2011. He was then sent to a federal psychiatric facility in Springfield, Missouri, for treatment with the appropriate medications.

In August 2012, Loughner was cleared for trial. He ended up pleading guilty to 19 charges. In exchange for his plea, he was spared the death penalty and the rest of the charges against him were dropped.

Loughner was sentenced in November 2012. He received seven consecutive life terms and an additional 140 years of imprisonment, without the possibility of parole.

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