Tucson Shooting Update: Sheriff Believes Jared Loughner Was Not Alone

by on January 8, 2011 · 6 comments

in Civil Rights, Culture, Election

At the end of the news day for Saturday, January 8th, 2011, here’s more that is known or has come out – and this is as of 6 pm PST :

  • The Sheriff of Tucson and Pima County, AZ, believes that today’s shooter, Jared Lee Loughner, did not act alone, and authorities are currently searching for a second male, a “person of interest.” Sheriff Clarence Dupnik said all this at a Tucson news conference tonight – which was broadcast via Keith Olbermann’s Special on the tragic events.
  • There was a total of nineteen victims from today’s mass shooting at a Tucson Safeway. 6 died – five at the scene and one at a hospital – a little girl of 9 years.
  • Federal District Judge John Roll – who just happened to stop by Congresswoman Giffords’ “Corner Congress” – was also shot and killed.
  • The District aide to Gifford died.
  • Incredibly, Sheriff Dupnik during the press conference railed against the toxic rhetoric that has become standard fare in today’s politics in his state. He declared that Arizona “has become the mecca for prejudice and bigotry,” blaming today’s shootings on the poisonous political atmosphere.  The Sheriff railed against this vitriol several times during the conference.
  • The gunman was wrestled to the ground by two men and held for authorities who were on the scene within moments; there was no security at the event.
  • Loughner used a semi-automatic pistol. It had an extended clip.
  • Sheriff Dupnik revealed that Loughner – who he refused to actually name – had made threats to law enforcement.
  • Law enforcement and others have had access to Loughner’s facebook page – which has since been taken down – and his posted videos reveal an unstable person. The videos show only white text on a black background with spacey music. They did not contain any overt threats against Giffords, President Obama, or anyone specifically, but at least three themes that ran through the several vids are or were issues with the extreme radical right. His assertions that the government is brainwashing people through grammar, that the currency must be connected to gold or silver, and something he called “conscience dreaming” are all themes of the far right.
  • A suspicious package has been found outside Congresswoman Giffords’ office.

{ 5 comments… read them below or add one }

avatar Old Hermit Dave January 8, 2011 at 9:38 pm

This kid will for sure get more than the standard 15 minutes. Bad news for the money making war on terror gang, it looks like no chance of proving he was once a paper boy and delivered papers to a man who was once a driver for Osama Bin Laden. But they are trying to make more than a lone nut story on this. In America lone nut cases are reserved for presidents.

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avatar dave rice January 9, 2011 at 12:46 pm

“They did not contain any overt threats against Giffords, President Obama, or anyone specifically, but at least three themes that ran through the several vids are or were issues with the extreme radical right. His assertions that the government is brainwashing people through grammar, that the currency must be connected to gold or silver, and something he called “conscience dreaming” are all themes of the far right.”

After doing a bit of homework on this issue, I’m not entirely convinced we can call this guy a right-wing wacko – right now he’s just kind of a wacko.

I saw three things to tie his ideology to the right, but mostly different. We both saw his insistence on tying money to some sort of physical precious-metals reserve. I also caught his dismay over the decline of English as the country’s sole language and fierce distrust of the federal government. However, the ‘government brainwashes the population through grammar’ and ‘conscience dreaming’ concepts are completely foreign to me – I’ve never heard of those at all.

However, the guy does seem to be in favor of burning flags and against eagles – generally the far right is obsessed with this kind of symbolism. He distrusts the war or terror and points out that the government is quick to mis-classify opponents as terrorists – this to me is a pretty liberal value, with the conservative point of view being that “y’all ain’t need to be worried if y’alls ain’t got nuttin’ teh hide.”

We’ll see in the coming weeks if this guy was liberal, conservative, or just straight-up insane. It does seem that he’s been pegged with mental illness by a few who would know, and it doesn’t seem like he was receiving treatment that might have helped him…

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avatar Frank Gormlie January 9, 2011 at 3:57 pm

More on this guy’s extreme right leanings: last night – on 1/08 – on Keith Olbermann’s Special on the massacre, Mark Potok of the Southern Poverty Law Center described the brainwashing through grammar thing and the “conscience dreaming” thing to be issues with certain elements of the far-right. The Center tracks and monitors far-right groups, and incidentally, the Center was instrumental in undermining San Diego County’s Tom Metzger and the White Aryan Resistance.

And let’s not de-emphasize the immigration bias – Loughner made numerous comments about how most people in Giffords Congressional District didn’t speak English. The entire immigration “debate” in AZ has gotten so white hot (no pun intended) that the right, and particularly the far-right have made it their cause celebre – even in the face of decreasing numbers of undocumented people coming across the border – and there’s been a cross-over among the right-of-center citizenry already upset with the economy and the election of an African-American president.

Here’s Mark Pokot:

Mark Potok …says inflammatory political rhetoric has risen as a result of the immigration debate. And more recently, he says, the weak economy and the election of President Obama have led to a 50 percent increase in the number of so-called hate groups.

“Earlier in the decade, it was paramilitary groups and nativists who were reacting to illegal immigration,” Potok said. “But then you have the first black president and the economy, which just exacerbates the feeling among some whites that they are losing opportunities, or losing their country.

“Now you’re seeing a cross-fertilization between those groups from the early 2000s and the people who are upset over Obama and the economy.”

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avatar Frank Gormlie January 9, 2011 at 3:44 pm

Apparently, the latest is that the “person of interest” was the cabbie who dropped Loughner off near the site of the bloodbath.

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avatar Sean McClellan January 11, 2011 at 12:49 pm

Thank goodness this is one nut who wasn’t honing his marksmanship at the local ‘freedom range’ We have a right to bear arms, but apparently not the right to be a good shot.

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