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Secret Service uses Tucson mass-shooter in study

Posted at 7:49 AM, Dec 03, 2015
and last updated 2015-12-03 09:49:56-05


TUCSON (KGUN9-TV) - As the nation continues to mourn the mass-shooting tragedy in San Bernardino shooting that left 15 people dead, former congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords and husband Mark Kelly are weighing in.

"Once again, a senseless act of gun violence has brought terror, tragedy and pain to one of our communities..." said the couple in a statement.  

The two have been very outspoken since the tragedy was felt here in Tucson. Giffords was shot back on January 8, 2011 at a local Tucson Safeway. 6 people were killed by the shooter, Jared Lee Loughner. 

Now, in timing with the most recent mass-shooting, the government is using Tucson's own attack as an example for others. 

On Wednesday, the United States Secret Service released a more than 20 page document entitled "Using a Systems Approach for Threat Assessment Investigations: A Case Study on Jared Lee Loughner. 

The hope is that in observing Loughner's behavior, there could be new ways to prevent future acts of violence among other people who could be capable of a mass-shooting. 

The report lays out a list of red flags; behaviors and tendencies that need to be watched. One example could be the rambling 3 minute video posted by Loughner years ago at Pima Community College. He rambles about multiple subjects and bashes the college.

"The students are so illiterate that it effects their daily lives," Loughner talks while using a camera to pan across the campus. "If the student is unable to locate the external universe, then the student is unable to locate the internal universe."

The new report from the government also lays out a timeline for Loughner which highlights the odd behavior he exerted in the years leading up to the shooting. 

Such as the summer of 2005 where Loughner began drinking and using drugs before starting his junior year in high school. That next year, he drops out of school.

Then in early 2008, the report describes how he began to exhibit signs of mental illness, such as hearing voices and talking about bizarre ideas, like that PCC video. 

The government suggests that using a systems approach for threat assessment could be a way to catch these signs before they turn into another mass-attack. 

"One of the first steps in assessing an individual’s risk for violence is to identify sources that may have information on the individual’s actions, stressors or recent changes in his or her life, and behaviors that may have concerned others," the document writes. 

The study also suggested that, when it comes to attacks on federal government, all of the attackers "had contact with, or had come to the attention of, one or more community systems... in the years prior to their attacks." 

Loughner had stated that he had felt 'snubbed' by Giffords at a previous event. He also had many run-ins with PCC campus police, as well as his peers, who reported his odd behavior. 

The document is supposed to be a tool for law enforcement to give them better ideas of what to look for in the future. 

"All of the systems may hold key information for investigators in identifying and assessing those who may engage in targeted violence," the document stated.