Parents of Jared Loughner ‘Devastated’, May Release Statement

(photo of jared loughner taken by forensics investigators)

The Wall Street Journal reports on how Jared Loughner's parents have been dealing since Saturday's massacre.

Not well:

Few people besides law-enforcement officers have been spotted entering the family home. Neighbor Wayne Smith did so on Monday evening, after he said Mr. Loughner asked him to bring in the mail.

Mr. Smith emerged to tell a small group of reporters that Randy Loughner had written a statement but isn't sure when to release it. Mr. Loughner is reluctant to greet the public and will try to coordinate the release through the local sheriff's office, Mr. Smith said.

"They're hurting real bad," Mr. Smith said, outside the house, in a neighborhood north of Tucson amid a flat carpet of strip malls and low subdivisions. "They are devastated."


It was Mr. Smith who told the Loughners what had happened Saturday. They returned from shopping, grocery bags in their peeling white Chevy truck, to find sheriffs' cars parked in front of the house and deputies stringing up crime-scene tape.

Mr. Smith, who had seen the news on TV, walked up and told them their son was suspected in a mass shooting.

"She almost passed out right there," Mr. Smith said. "He sat in the road with the tape up and cried."

The paper also reports that Randy Loughner (the father) has prepared and may release a public statement, but there's no indication of when that might be.


  1. Ricco says

    Kind? Seriously? Remember this is America, flowing with toxic self-righteousness, and self-loathing.

    Some may be moved on the behalf of this family, but they will be made to feel that their son’s actions are their own.

    How could they not know the extent of his mental illness? That is what people will ask, and getting no satisfactory answer, will blame them.

    This is what happens every time something like this happens.

    We would all have to be lying dead, the victims of sick people like Jared Loughner before anyone began to seriously consider that maybe we, as a society, are sick and sadly lacking, unable to address our own addiction to guns, a war mongering nation given to vitriolic rhetoric, well schooled in the art of pointing fingers at anyone but ourselves.

  2. David says

    @Ricco If we who speak first are kind and respectful, we set the tone for future conversation, as long as we’re not talking in a bubble. So rather than angrily lambasting society, just post your condolences for the family.

    Society can learn, but it takes a lot of voices to move it and a lot of patience.

  3. Anastasia Beaverhausen says

    David Ehrenstein: You’re tone-deaf. If you have proof* then post it; otherwise, save the hyperbole for the bird suicide stories.

    * sorry, but conjecture and opinion are not proof.

  4. me says

    i’m not saying they are co-conspirators (at all), but they shouldn’t be talking about “woe is me.” The victim are the people shot by their son. Their statement, if they release one, should be about how sorry they feel for those shot, and not about how sorry they feel for themselves.

  5. Ricco says

    David . . . thanks for your exhortation on respect, which you fail to do when you would manage my comments, telling me what my posting ought to consist.

    You are mistaken. I am not angry. I will say this, that as Americans we have a propensity for plugging our ears when people says things we do not like, no matter what truth may lie in the telling.

    The problem with our society is that people ever only want to hear that which is not true, that makes us look good, and if anyone says otherwise they are accused of being naysayers, unpatriotic.

    I think the worst kind of patriotism is refusing to speak the truth because the truth is unpleasant.

    People who spoke for the rights of women, then of blacks, now gays have been always accused of lambasting society. Whatever strides have been made in America wherein it nominally reflects the ideals set forth in The Declaration of Independence have not been due to its society at any given time in its history, but always because a handful of people were willing to act as a conscience and a dissenting voice to an otherwise toxic nation.

    I speak not from anger, but passionately, saddened that human beings, generally speaking, have a propensity for self-destruction. To say otherwise, deny the truth of our societal tendencies, and act as though this shooting, and others like it, is but an isolated tumor, and ignore the inherent problems in our society, because we want to be polite and not say anything unpleasant only dooms us to repeat the same mistakes.

    But just so you know, David, my utter sympathies do go out to the Loughner’s. I can’t imagine what would be worse, to lose someone you love in a pointless shooting, or have someone you love murder your fellow citizens.

    I am grieving. And I must, in my grief, be allowed to express myself as I deem fit, so long as I am respectful, and I feel I have been that. And I feel that everyone here must do what they can in their own way in expressing their grief.


  6. says

    They were not only his parents, Ricco, HE LIVED WITH THEM!

    For these people to act like their deranged son committed mass murder totally out of the blue is Beyond Disgusting. They should have acted YEARS AGO! Why didn’t they? Are you going to sit here and tell me they had no “warnig signs”? When the school he was attending threw him out and he refused to get the psychiatric help he obviously needed, where were Mom and Dad? Watching “Jon and Kate Plus 8″?

    I have NO SYMPATHY for the revolting Loughners.


  7. says

    @David, I know that it can see unbelievable that Loughner’s parents had no idea, but from a personal experience, my parents had no idea I was gay when I came out to them, even though I don’t think I could have been any more obvious (I mean, they found some gay porn of mine a year or so earlier). And before anyone accuses me of somehow equating being gay with Loughner’s state of mind, don’t even bother. All I’m saying is that sometimes, parents choose to see what they want to see in their children, their expectations and the happiness that they wish for them, and they are blinded to everything else.

    It’s a sad story however you slice it. I saw an interview with Christina Taylor Green’s father on GMA or the Today Show (can’t remember which) while I was at the gym yesterday morning, and even reading the spotty closed captioning of his interview made me want to cry.

    But I don’t believe that vilifying Loughner’s parents will make it any easier for anyone. Vilify Loughner, Sarah Palin, for that matter, but until we hear otherwise, I choose to believe that his parents were well-meaning, if somewhat oblivious, and probably struggling with how to live in this new world they suddenly find themselves in.

  8. says

    While one can have sympathy for the parents, given the “child-proofed” world we live in, one must also put responsibility for their children’s actions upon them no matter how “nice” or “kind” they are or how much they’re “hurting”.

    Seemingly every day a new argument is made by some group of parents or other complaining that either “Society” or “The Media” or some other informational bogeyman is exposing their children to influences they don’t want or approve of. There’s then a flurry of activity and suddenly the rights of adults without children or even other parents without that particular child-raising criteria are abridged.

    The efficacy of shutouts for children is debateable, but it does mean that, if the only influence on a child’s rearing is that child’s parents, then that child’s parents are also ultimately responsible for that child’s actions. They created the problem or failed to manage the problem successfully.

  9. shannon says

    WHY are they “devastated”???? They knew he was evil…but like most suburban people they want to promote this facade that all is well in their world and the most horrific murders…cannibals…serial robbers/rapists/child killers come from the burbs!! THE PARENT MOST ALSO BE HELP RESPONSIBLE FOR THIS TOO!

  10. says

    What in the hell is wrong with you people? He was a grown ass man living in their home, he was not a teenager or a child who should have received constant supervision. I find it totally feasible that they would not know what was going on and that he would alienate them from his personal life and thought processes. There are plenty of things we do not discuss with our parents. I’m sure there are men commenting on this board who have gone out and engaged in some sort of dangerous sexual activity or drug use. Have you gone home and discussed it with your parents? Obviously I don’t mean to equate those things with the tragedy of this past weekend, but my point is that it is totally feasible that the parents would just think their son was a little odd and not have much access to his thoughts or personal life. As a poster above said, there are plenty of things our parents don’t know about us, whether intentionally kept secret or not. Obviously, we were not in their home, so please, spare us your pitiful judgments! The Loughners are just as entitled to feel horrified and devastated at the loss of their son, the lives he took, and I am certain they are beating themselves senselessly over the head wondering where they went wrong. I feel for the Loughners just as much as every other party involved.

  11. Ryan says

    A few things run in my mind right now:

    I feel bad for the parents. No matter what they should or shouldn’t have done, no parent would expect this and it’s just devastating.

    Second, for the people (ie David) who thinks the parents ‘should have known better,’ and ‘should have done something,’ what on earth makes you assume they didn’t? We don’t know anything about what happened.

    It reminds me, though, of an old acquaintance I grew up with who got a drug problem and ended up dying from an overdose. A lot of people would have said, ‘what’s wrong with the parents — why didn’t they do anything?’ But the truth about it is those parents struggled for *years* to save their and did everything imaginable to do so, at great expense in time, money and energy. The fact of the matter is their son had a disease he wasn’t able to overcome — as sad as it is — and it could very well be the case with Loughner’s family, too.

    Finally, it doesn’t serve anyone any good to start attacking the parents. Their lives are destroyed because of this and it won’t serve anyone any good to try to destroy them a little more. I had a cousin who was murdered about a decade ago and though I was depressed and angry about it for a long time, I never focused my depression or anger on the parents of the murdering bastard. Their ‘tragedy’ was a different one than the one my family faced, but still real and still tragic.

  12. jaragon says

    I’m sorry but unless the parents were deaf, dumb and blind they must have had an inkling that their child was not “well”. This kid had been acting up for a while- people in school were afraid of him- of course he is an adult and no one wants to admit a family member is a potential psychopath but when someone builds a satanic shrine in their backyard…it’s time to dial the nut house.

  13. says

    ” it doesn’t serve anyone any good to start attacking the parents.”

    Attacking them, no, but it may do society no good to portray them as unexpectedly shattered individuals.

    Again, if a website is blocked in a supposedly free WiFi area because its content is objectionable to children or my child can’t check out “Billy Has Two Daddies” from the library because some other parent doesn’t even want to take the chance that their child sees something they don’t agree with, if that child then grows up and murders a gay man or lesbian, that parent is responsible for that to some extent. No matter how kind they are as a person or devastated they are by their child’s actions, their situation is one of their own creation (again, at least to some extent) as they have made themselves the sole arbiters of what their child sees, hears and believes.

    I don’t know where the Loughners stood on this sort of child-proofing censorship, but as we’re worrying about how society and rhetoric may have contributed to this tragedy, it’s a legitimate question and fair to be somewhat skeptical at such bald pleas for sympathy when they should have had more input into who their child was than some graphic on Sarah Palin’s website.

  14. says

    Where were the parents shopping for groceries when Jared was shooting outside Safeway? Articles I’ve read stated that they returned home with groceries in plastic bags around 1100am,and were told what their son did by a neighbor…the shooting was a bit after 1000am….did they give him a ride, then shop there or somewhere else?

  15. Sean says

    Thank you Ryan for your empathy and insight.

    The families of the victim’s of Saturday’s tragedy are mourning terrible losses and I do feel for them.

    I also feel for the shooter’s family. Their hopes and dreams for their child have been destroyed as well. It is a different loss but it is still a loss. With it comes much introspection and doubt. Could they have done anything differently that could have prevented this? We are not the shooter’s parents and should be thankful that we are not in their shoes.

    We need to allow all who lost in this tragedy time to mourn without judging and condemning them.

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