Quantcast

Neighbor: Parents of shooting suspect devastated

By Justin Pritchard

Associated Press

Published: Tuesday, Jan. 11 2011 9:02 a.m. MST

TUCSON, Ariz. — The parents of a man charged with trying to assassinate an Arizona congresswoman are devastated and guilt-ridden, a neighbor said, mourning their own tragedy as Tucson residents prepare Tuesday for a week of funerals and a visit from the president.

Jared Loughner's mother has been in bed, crying nonstop since Saturday, neighbor Wayne Smith, 70, told KPHO-TV. Amy and Randy Loughner want to know where they went wrong with their 22-year-old son, who is charged with trying to kill U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords and killing a federal judge.

"I told them they didn't fail. They taught him everything about right and wrong," Smith said. "We all know you can teach someone everything and have no control how it works out."

Roxanne Osler, of Tucson, whose son was a friend of Jared Loughner's, said he had a bad relationship with his parents and had distanced himself from family.

"What Jared did was wrong. But people need to know about him," she told The Washington Post. "I wish people would have taken a better notice of him and gotten him help. ... He had nobody, and that's not a nice place to be."

Loughner's parents have not spoken publicly, though Smith said the father plans to release a statement.

Wearing a beige prison jumpsuit and handcuffs and sporting a pink gash on the hairline of his shaved head, Loughner on Monday spoke just a brief reply when the judge asked if he understood that he could get life in prison — or the death penalty — for killing federal Judge John Roll.

"Yes," he said.

Loughner was being held without bail. Meanwhile, residents of Tucson prepared for memorial services Tuesday for the six killed in the shooting.

A Mass for all the victims at St. Odelia's Parish in Tucson — was set for Tuesday evening, and President Barack Obama was scheduled to arrive in Arizona Wednesday for a memorial service days after calling the attack a tragedy for the entire country.

Loughner's court appearance in Phoenix on Monday gave the nation a first look at the man authorities say is responsible for the shooting that also left 14 injured outside a Tucson supermarket where Giffords had set up a booth to hear the concerns of constituents.

Giffords, a three-term Democrat, was in critical condition at Tucson's University Medical Center, gravely wounded after being shot through the head but able to give a thumbs-up sign that doctors found as a reason to hope.

Speaking to NBC's "Today" show early Tuesday, Dr. Michael Lemole, chief of neurosurgery at the University of Arizona, said there was no change overnight in Giffords' condition.

When asked about swelling in her brain on the third day, which is when brain swelling often reaches its peak after an injury, Lemole said a CAT scan early Tuesday showed no increase in swelling. But he cautioned that it can sometimes take longer for brain swelling to reach its peak.

"Just the fact that she's able to respond to those commands implies that there's not a great deal of pressure in the brain," he said.

After Saturday's operation to temporarily remove half of her skull, doctors over the past two days had Giffords removed from her sedation and then asked basic commands such as: "Show me two fingers."

"When she did that, we were having a party in there," said Dr. Peter Rhee, adding that Giffords has also been reaching for her breathing tube, even while sedated.

"That's a purposeful movement. That's a great thing. She's always grabbing for the tube," he said.

Giffords' family is by her side, receiving constant updates from doctors. On Monday, two well-known doctors with extensive experience in traumatic brain injury were traveling to Tucson to help consult on Giffords' case.

Get The Deseret News Everywhere

Subscribe

Mobile

RSS