TUCSON, Arizona, Jan. 11, 2011
The parents of Tucson shooting suspect Jared Lee
Loughner are reportedly coping with their son's
alleged rampage significantly as they've spent their recent
family life: alone and in private.
Randy and Amy Loughner have sealed themselves in
their suburban Tucson home, blocking access to the
front door with a piece of wood to presumably keep
individuals off their property.
The couple did not attend their son's arraignment in
federal court in Phoenix Monday, and one neighbor
who's been in contact with them, but asked not to be
identified, said they are distraught and grieving.
Randy Loughner is reportedly preparing to release a
public statement, the initial since their son was charged
in connection with shooting Arizona Rep. Gabrielle
Giffords and 19 other individuals.
Meanwhile, in the search for clues to understanding
why Jared Loughner allegedly plotted an attack on
Giffords' constituent event Saturday, his relationships
with his parents and home environment are of
Pima County Sheriff Clarence Dupnik said Monday that
he couldn't comment specifically on Loughner's
upbringing or mental health, but he noted that his
was a "somewhat dysfunctional family."
And neighbors painted a picture of a single-child
house that was intensely private and increasingly
insular and standoffish as Jared Loughner grew older.
George Gayam, who has lived next door to Randy
Loughner for 30 years on North Soledad St.,
described their early relationship as amicable and
engaging, like "average neighbors." Lanyards
Randy married Amy Totman in 1986 and two years
later they had their initial and only son, Jared. He then
became a stay at home dad, although Amy worked for
Pima County, neighbors said.
Gayam, 82, recalled how his grandchildren interacted
with the Loughners as they had been growing up, playing
with Jared in the yard and later sharing a passion for
cars with Randy.
"When I was probably 16 or 17, I had a Mustang.
Randy had his hot rod. We'd talk shop. He'd assist me
out. I'd assist him out, and everything was fantastic," said
Gayam's grandson Rick Dahlstrom.
But around 15 years ago the dynamic abruptly
changed, Dahlstrom said.
"There was times when we'd be out with other
neighbor children, and Jared wouldn't be allowed out.
He'd be watching from the window or door," he said.
"They all became very isolated. Randy was isolated,
Amy wasn't out anymore. Something changed. They
just kept to themselves."
"We utilized to talk, you know, though not a great deal," said
Gayam. "But recently there was usually some option
words said at times or gestures when somebody was
driving by. There's no real rhyme or reason as to
Other neighbors said the Loughners' behavior
perplexed them and made them uncomfortable.