9OYS Investigates: PCC emails show campus police circulated Loughner pictures, boost patrol
Reporter: Claire Doan
TUCSON (KGUN9-TV) – Although administrators from Pima Community College (PCC) are still refusing KGUN9 requests for an interview, they complied with part of several public records requests 9 On Your Side made for communication regarding former student Jared Lee Loughner, the accused gunman in the Jan. 8 shootings.
The documents show that campus police exchanged several emails about Loughner, distributed three photos of the 22-year-old to officers and boosted patrol at PCC's northwest campus.
"[Officer] Haywood happened to find this [video] on YouTube; more drivel from Jared Loughner," wrote Sergeant Dan Simmons. "Doubt there is anything to do about it."
Another email from Police Commander Manny Amado states: "In regards to Jared Loughner … I will have a photo of Jared copied and given the swing shift crew and have them conduct more frequent checks of the Northwest Campus."
Various YouTube videos heightened concern from school officials, including one that was filmed at the PCC campus in which Loughner states: "I'm in a terrible place. This is the school that I go to … This is Pima Community College, one of the biggest scams in America."
9 On Your Side wants to know: What was so threatening about Loughner's videos to prompt such a warning?
PCC Spokeswoman Cindy Klinge said the school didn't have anybody around to do interviews.
However, a previous public records request by KGUN9 News in January details an extensive history of the schools dealings with Loughner, including: a commend he made in class about "strapping bombs to babies;" a division dean saying he has a "dark personality and is kind of creepy," to at least one instructor who feared for her safety after Loughner's outburst in class, prompting her to request for nearby officer presence while she taught her class.
Although PCC has been refusing media interviews, one of Loughner's former instructors told us he alerted administrators to how Loughner made students nervous and paranoid.
"He had a bright red face. He had this kind of evil smile, like he was under the influence of drugs, like he was high on pot," said PCC Adjunct Professor Ben McGahee.
To its credit, PCC did issue a press release on the day of the shooting, stating that Loughner attended the school for five years and was suspended after five run-ins with campus police. They spoke to his parents in October, telling them he couldn't return without a mental evaluation.
But 9 On Your Side is still waiting to learn more from PCC, including the schools' safety guidelines for possible threats; whether the school conducted an internal investigation after the shooting; and in retrospect, how they might improve their policies.