Judge: Ariz. shooting suspect mentally incompetent

May 26, 2011


TUCSON, Ariz. – One of more than a dozen surviving victims from the Tucson shooting rampage says he has no problem with the suspect spending his life in a mental health facility.

Eric Fuller spoke shortly after a federal judge ruled Wednesday that Jared Lee Loughner was incompetent to stand trial for the Jan. 8 attack, which left Rep. Gabrielle Giffords seriously wounded from a bullet to the brain.

Mental health experts concluded that Loughner, a 22-year-old college dropout, suffers from schizophrenia.

U.S. District Judge Larry Burns ordered Loughner to a federal facility in Missouri for up to four months, where doctors will try to give him enough treatment to bring him to a point where he understands the case against him.

At one point during the hearing, Loughner lowered his head to within inches of his table and then raised it and began yelling, prompting federal marshals had to drag him from the packed courtroom.

“You don’t have to be a psychiatrist to know that the boy is disturbed,” said Fuller, who was shot in the knee and the back during the shooting spree at a Giffords’ event outside a Tucson, Ariz., supermarket.

Fuller said he wouldn’t be bothered if Loughner spends the rest of his life in such a mental facility.

“Hinckley has been gone for forever,” Fuller said, referring to John Hinckley Jr., who tried to assassinate President Ronald Reagan 30 years ago and has since been committed to a psychiatric hospital.

Giffords staff member Ron Barber also was wounded in the attack but didn’t attend the hearing. “It’s a little too emotional,” he said.

Read more: http://www.miamiherald.com/2011/05/26/2235879/judge-ariz-shooting-suspect-mentally.html#ixzz1NS24tKVs


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