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Jared Loughner was no stranger to police

Official records detail the Arizona shooting suspect's odd behavior in a serious of encounters with authorities.

January 12, 2011|By Maeve Reston, Rong-Gong Lin II and Sam Quinones, Los Angeles Times

The college transcript, which covers Loughner's career from summer 2005 to summer 2010, shows he took courses for credit in a wide range of subjects — philosophy, logic, psychology and computers, plus American Sign Language I and II and at least five writing classes. He also took some noncredit courses, including country swing and beginning tai chi.

On the morning of the attack on U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords and others, according to law enforcement reports, Loughner had been target-shooting in the desert, where he was stopped by a Game and Fish officer for running a red light.

Game and Fish officials said an officer on patrol in the desert about six miles from the Safeway found himself behind the 1969 Nova driven by Loughner.

Loughner stopped at a light in front of the officer, then "crept through the red light," said Game and Fish spokesman Jim Paxon.

The officer, whom Paxon did not identify, pulled Loughner over.

The officer approached Loughner's car, Paxon said. By then, the young man had his license, registration and insurance out and handed it to the officer, who had a dispatcher check the documents, which were valid.

"Mr. Loughner was very polite and very subdued," Paxon said.

The officer also visually inspected the car and "saw nothing to give him probable cause to do an extended search or detain the subject," Paxon said.

Loughner received a warning, then went on his way. The interaction took no more than 10 minutes.

When Loughner's name was released after the shooting, the officer remembered the traffic stop and informed investigators from the Pima County Sheriff's Office and the FBI, who interviewed him about the incident, Paxon said.

Randy Loughner told the FBI that he had chased his son that morning after becoming concerned when he saw him take a black bag from a family car, according to a Pima County Sheriff's Department statement. When Randy Loughner questioned his son about the bag, his son fled on foot. The father followed Jared Loughner in his car, but lost sight of him.

When Loughner arrived at the shopping center by taxi around 10 a.m., he was armed for mayhem, federal law enforcement sources said.

He had a Glock semiautomatic pistol, loaded with a 30-round extended magazine, hidden in his waistband covered by his untucked shirt. In his pants pockets, he hid three magazines — one with 30 9-millimeter bullets, the other two with 15 each. He also carried a blunt-blade "tactical knife" in another pocket, the sources said.

The Sheriff's Department also released reports detailing various law enforcement interactions from 2004 to this week with Loughner or his father. In two of them, Randy Loughner called authorities to report that members of the media were trespassing on his property, or that a television truck was blocking access to his home.

At least twice during high school, Loughner had contact with the authorities, once as a victim. While in college, he had two run-ins with law enforcement for minor infractions.

In September 2004, when Loughner was 16 and a student at Mountain View High School, Loughner was stuck in the arm by a classmate with a needle, sheriff's records show. The report said Loughner was standing in the cafeteria with friends when a classmate walked by and plunged a needle into his arm between his elbow and his shoulder.

Loughner, said the report "started to become pale, got dizzy could not stand and had to be helped to a nurse's office by another friend," the report said. After talking to his parents, the young man told officers he did not want to press charges. His parents did, however, want the young man who poked him to be tested "to see if he has HIV or any other kind of disease," the records show.

In May 2006, high school officials said Loughner got so drunk at school that they had to call an ambulance, which took him to an emergency room.

Loughner, whose eyes were red from crying, told the school nurse that he had drunk vodka that he taken from his father's liquor cabinet. He told officers that he drank the vodka "because he was very upset as his father yelled at him."

Pima Sheriff's Department officials also revealed more details about Saturday's search of the Loughner home by the FBI and sheriffs. Evidence seized from a letter safe included writings that included an epithet directed at "pigs" and another that said "die bitch." Federal law enforcement sources said that during their search, only one weapon was found — an old shotgun. It was not loaded, they said, and had not been fired for years.

Richard A. Serrano in the Washington bureau and Times staff writers Robin Abcarian and Rick Rojas in Los Angeles contributed to this report.

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