Friend of Loughner: 'I felt like if anyone was going to shoot her, it would be Jared'
Updated 1:12 p.m.
Bryce Tierney, a friend of alleged shooter Jared Loughner tells Mother Jones magazine that Loughner had always had a grudge against Rep. Gabrielle Giffords (D-Ariz.), and that it was a missed voice mail message Loughner left on his phone that led him to believe Loughner was involved in the mass shooting. In the message Loughner said, "Hey man, it's Jared. Me and you had good times. Peace out. Later."
Tierney, described as "an old and close friend with whom he had gone to high school and college" in the Mother Jones report, said that Loughner had repeatedly called Giffords a "fake," and that his hatred of Giffords intensified after he attended a campaign event where he posed a question to the congresswoman. According to Tierny, Loughner's question was, "What is government if words have no meaning?"
"He said, 'Can you believe it, they wouldn't answer my question,' and I told him, 'Dude, no one's going to answer that,'" Tierney recalls. "Ever since that, he thought she was fake, he had something against her."
The Wall Street Journal reports that Alex Montonaro, who describes himself as one of "Jared's best friends," recounts the question-and-answer exchange between Loughner and Giffords somewhat differently.
Montanaro said his friend "was never really political," but "really tried to be philosophical." Loughner liked "contemplating the meaning of words and the origin of language," said Montonaro.
Loughner said he asked the lawmaker, "How do you know words mean anything?" recalled Montanaro. He said Loughner was "aggravated" when Giffords, after pausing for a couple of seconds, "responded to him in Spanish and moved on with the meeting."
Tierney and Montonaro are not the first to weigh in on Loughner's behavior. E-mails supplied to The Washington Post by Lynda Sorenson, a former classmate of Loughner, reveal her growing alarm at Loughner's strange and disruptive behavior in early June.
Kent Slinker, an adjunct philosophy professor at Pima Community College, taught Loughner in Introduction to Logic during the spring semester of 2010. In an interview with Slate, Slinker described Loughner as "someone whose brains were scrambled."
"His thoughts were unrelated to anything in our world," said Slinker.
Tierney also told Mother Jones that Loughner was obsessed with "lucid dreaming" -- the idea that conscious dreams could be controlled by the dreamer. "I saw his dream journal once," said Tierney "That's the golden piece of evidence. You want to know what goes on in Jared Loughner's mind, there's a dream journal that will tell you everything."
| January 10, 2011; 10:17 AM ET
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