Sheriff says US rampage suspect not cooperating

22-year-old faces hearing on charges of trying to assassinate US congresswoman, killing 6; audio recordings of 911 call released (inside).

January 10, 2011 17:15
2 minute read.
Jared Loughner, accused shooter of US politician

Loughner 311. (photo credit: Associated Press)

PHOENIX — A 22-year-old man described as a social outcast with wild beliefs steeped in mistrust faces a federal court hearing on charges he tried to assassinate a US congresswoman in a Tucson shooting rampage that left six people dead.

A federal judge, a congressional aide and a young girl were among the six people killed, while Rep. Gabrielle Giffords and 13 others were injured in the bursts of gunfire outside a Tucson supermarket.

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Analysis: Vitriolic rhetoric cited after Giffords shooting
Shooter of US congresswoman may have had accomplice

Public defenders are asking that the attorney who defended Oklahoma City bombing conspirator Timothy McVeigh and "Unabomber" Ted Kaczynski defend Jared Loughner, who makes his first court appearance Monday at 2 p.m. MST (2100 GMT).

Sheriff Clarence Dupnik said Loughner was not cooperating and told ABC News the suspect had said "not a word" to investigators. Dupnik said authorities were all but certain Loughner acted alone, saying "he's a typical troubled individual who's a loner."

Also on Monday, recordings of initial 911 calls reporting the shooting were release (see video).

The hearing in Phoenix comes just a few hours after President Barack Obama leads a shocked and saddened nation in a moment of silence for the victims and their families. Obama will observe the moment of silence at 11 a.m. EST (1600 GMT) with White House staff on the South Lawn.

Those killed included US District Judge John Roll, 63, and 9-year-old Christina Taylor Green, who was born on Sept. 11, 2001, and was featured in a book called "Faces of Hope" that chronicled one baby from each state born on the day terrorists killed nearly 3,000 people in the US.

Others killed were Giffords aide Gabe Zimmerman, 30; Dorothy Morris, 76; Dorwin Stoddard, 76; and Phyllis Schneck, 79.

As authorities filed the charges against Loughner Sunday, they alleged he scrawled on an envelope the words "my assassination" and "Giffords" sometime before he took a cab to a shopping center where the congresswoman was meeting with constituents Saturday morning.

Giffords, 40, lay in intensive care at a Tucson hospital, after being shot in the head at close range. Doctors said she had responded repeatedly to commands to stick out her two fingers, giving them hope she may survive.

Loughner is charged with one count of attempted assassination of a member of Congress, two counts of killing an employee of the federal government and two counts of attempting to kill a federal employee. More charges are expected.

Discoveries at Loughner's home in southern Arizona, where he lived with his parents in a middle-class neighborhood lined with desert landscaping and palm trees, have provided few answers to what motivated him.

Court papers filed with the charges said he had previous contact with Giffords. The documents said he had received a letter from the Democratic lawmaker in which she thanked him for attending a "Congress on your Corner" event at a mall in Tucson in 2007.

Police said he purchased the Glock pistol used in the attack in November.

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