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Jared Lee Loughner Charged With ‘Attempted Assassination’ of a Member of Congress

Jared Lee Loughner Charged With ‘Attempted Assassination’ of a Member of Congress

This afternoon, prosecutors charged 22-year-old Jared Lee Loughner with five serious federal charges:

  • one count of attempting to kill a member of Congress
  • two counts of first degree murder 
  • two counts of attempted murder 

The charges can be read in full via Talking Points Memo and also via the New York Times

Authorities seized evidence from Loughner’s house that shows that he had planned to kill Representative Gabrielle Giffords, who is in critical condition with a gunshot wound to her head. According to today’s New York Times,

Tony M. Tayler Jr., an F.B.I. special agent, said in an affidavit supporting the charges that an envelope was found there with the handwritten words “I planned ahead,” ”My assassination” and “Giffords.”Other details about the envelope were not disclosed.


The court documents say that Mr. Loughner purchased the semiautomatic Glock pistol used at the shooing at Sportsman’s Warehouse in Tucson on Nov. 30. The documents also indicate that the suspect had previous contact with the congresswoman: The authorities found a letter from Ms. Giffords thanking Mr. Loughner for attending a 2007 “Congress on Your Corner” event similar to the one she was holding on Saturday morning when she was attacked.

Loughner was charged with killing or attempting to kill four other US government officials: United States District Judge John M. Roll and Gabriel Zimmerman, Giffords’ director of community outreach, who were killed, and two Congressional aides, community outreach worker Pamela Simon and Ron Barber, Giffords’ deputy director, who were wounded. 15 other people, including 9-year-old Christina Taylor Green, were killed or wounded in the attack.  (More about the six who died at the Washington Post.)

The federal charges against Loughner could carry the death penalty if he is convicted.  He could also face more charges under the domestic terrorism statute, according to FBI Director Robert Mueller.

Authorities have yet to cite specific motivations for the shootings other than noting that Rep. Giffords (whom Loughner had apparently met at an earlier ‘Congress on the Corner’ event) was the intended target.  ‘Political reverberations’ have been sent throughout the nation in the wake of the attack, the New York Times and other sources note.  Flags are being flown at half-state in Washington in memory of Gabriel Zimmerman, the slain Congressional staff member.  The President has called for a moment of silence at 11am on Monday, January 10, eastern standard time and has issued a presidential proclamation for the flag to be flown at half mast until sunset on January 14.

I don’t know about you, but the terrible events in Tucson have weighed over my household all weekend. All of our thoughts have been on those who lost their lives and those who were wounded, and their families. I don’t even know how to begin to talk any of this to my 13 1/2 year old son, Charlie. He is severely autistic and has many cognitive challenges, but that does not mean that he is not aware of how distracted my husband and I have been.  Whether or not you have kids, who among us isn’t wondering at what in the world is going on in our country—and what does the future hold?

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480 comments

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1:32PM PDT on Mar 14, 2011

Paid his money & passed a background check!

7:52PM PST on Mar 11, 2011

How did tis guy get a gun????

2:45PM PST on Feb 1, 2011

"Michael i know that a treaty can't be signed by the SOS, but you tell me the senate can't be swayed for the better good of the people! How do we enter into all these international laws then they were signed by the senate no other body."

The comment responded to was clear not in the "better good of the people" And also implied that the SOS signing a treaty was a done deal!

12:21PM PST on Feb 1, 2011

Michael i know that a treaty can't be signed by the SOS, but you tell me the senate can't be swayed for the better good of the people! How do we enter into all these international laws then they were signed by the senate no other body.

6:50AM PST on Feb 1, 2011

"The Left Right Paradigm is Over: Its You vs. Corporations!!

http://www.ritholtz.com/blog/2010/09/you-vs-corporations/"

Yeah!! This is really a great idea! Lets eliminate ALL corporations. Then The US would not be a world power, in fact we may be hard put to maintain 3rd world status.
Oh! Yeah this would also eliminate the Postal Service, Amtrak, & a few others I don't have the names for.

8:16PM PST on Jan 31, 2011

The Left Right Paradigm is Over: Its You vs. Corporations!!

http://www.ritholtz.com/blog/2010/09/you-vs-corporations/

5:21PM PST on Jan 31, 2011

For data on the nation as a whole;
http://www.legallyarmed.com/ccw_statistics.htm
Though the data is from different dates.

5:20PM PST on Jan 31, 2011

"Michael C. i dont know how many people carry guns i would think most gun owners have them in there house for protection .just my opinion no facts ."

I was real careful with the character count, still got cut off. Everything after Licenses issued covers the dates from '87 till 12/31/10.
Part cut off;
--e..................................522
Crime after licensure 5,224
--Firearm Utilized--.....168
Other..............................121
Reinstated.....................660

5:14PM PST on Jan 31, 2011

As an example lets look @ Florida.
 
2010 - 2011 10/1/87 - 12/31/10
Applications Rec.: 1,928,025
    New 56,155
Renewal 38,960
Licenses Issued: 1,902,769
         New 55,651
         Renewal 38,592
Lics Valid: 780,595
Apps Denied: 13,141
         Criminal History 4,349
         Incomplete App 8,792
Licenses Revoked: 5,943
         Clemency Rule Change
         or Legislative Change 66
         Illegible Prints With
         No Response 10
         Crime Prior to Licensur

4:00PM PST on Jan 31, 2011

"David how the u.n. got involved in this is because our SOS wants to go through the U.N and sign a treaty which would be enforced by international law, may i remind you we have a constitution which means nothing to these people got it!!!! "

The SOS signing a treaty by itself means nothing! The Senate must agree!

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