Judge Rules Tucson Shooter Incompetent to Stand Trial

loughnerx largeAccording to CBS News, Jared Loughner, the 22-year-old shooter who opened fire in Tucson on January 8, 2011 that killed six people, has been declared mentally incompetent to stand trial.

He has been residing at a federal facility in Missouri in order to be examined by mental health professionals that had to determine if he understood the consequences.

According to the Arizona Daily Star, he has been deemed a schizophrenic by doctors and is unable to comprehend any of the trial proceedings. His mental records show that he had been treated twice at a behavioral health hospital.

The college dropout attended Tucson’s Pima Community College who reportedly expressed their worries about the student’s behavior on several occasions. Loughner had five encounters with the campus police and in September of 2010 he was suspended and told he must pass a psychiatric exam in order to return.

He is indicted on 49 charges due to his violent outburst that injured over a dozen people including U.S. Representative, Gabrielle Giffords, and killing Chief U.S. District Court Judge, John Roll. He has pleaded not guilty to all counts.

Giffords reportedly was his apparent main target and Loughner was heard several times making negative remarks about her. After reportedly purchasing a 9mm glock pistol he left a farewell message on his MySpace page and preceded to the Safeway supermarket where Giffords was speaking. Although he was stopped on the way for running a red light, he was let go after it was discovered there were no outstanding warrants for him.

At about 10:10 am he opened fire, shooting Giffords in the head and was quickly arrested by police. The trial turned sour after he began rocking back and forth and muttering under his breath. He was removed and after a brief recess returned but then opted to watch the trial on the TV in another room. According to NewsTimes, the Judge Larry Burns then made the decision to send Loughner to a federal facility that will “restore his competency”.