The Free Press, Mankato, MN

State, national news

March 27, 2013

Records provide new look at Arizona shooting spree

WASHINGTON —  

Authorities investigating the shooting rampage that killed six people and wounded Rep. Gabrielle Giffords and 11 others compiled nearly 3,000 pages of documents released Wednesday that provide a fresh glimpse into the 2011 attack, including the erratic behavior of the gunman, a tense interrogation and the chaos that enveloped the bloody scene.

Jared Lee Loughner was polite and cooperative but complained of feeling sore as authorities began their hours-long initial interview of the gunman.

The conversation as Loughner sat in restraints in an interview room was mainly small talk. Little was said over the first four hours. Loughner asked if he could use the restroom, then at one point complained he felt sore.

"I'm about ready to fall over," he said.

The roughly 2,700 pages of documents on the shooting outside a Safeway where Giffords was hosting a meet-and-greet with constituents have been kept private since the January 2011 attack.

The records, released by the Pima County sheriff's department, include transcribed interviews with witnesses and various police reports, and provide new insight into how the shooting occurred.

Giffords intern Daniel Hernandez described how constituents and others were lining up to see Giffords that morning. He helped people sign in and recalled handing the sheet on a clipboard to Loughner.

"The next thing I hear is someone yell, 'Gun,'" said Hernandez, who rushed to tend to Giffords' gunshot wound to the head.

"She couldn't open her eyes. I tried to get any responses from her. Um, it looked like her left side was the only side that was still mobile," Hernandez told authorities. "She couldn't speak. It was mumbled. She was squeezing my hand."

Hernandez explained how he had some training as a nurse and first checked for a pulse.

"She was still breathing. Her breathing was getting shallower," he said. "I then lifted her up so that she wasn't flat on the ground."

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