Many people had a glimpse of the deep delusions and festering anger of Jared L. Loughner, but none seemed in a better position to connect the dots than officials at Pima Community College, reports the New York Times. After the release of detailed reports the college kept of Mr. Loughner’s bizarre outbursts and violent Internet fantasies, the focus has turned to whether it did all it could to prevent his apparent descent into explosive violence. In September, Pima suspended Mr. Loughner and told him not to return without a psychologist’s letter certifying that he posed no danger. But it took no steps to mandate that he have a psychiatric evaluation, which in Arizona is easier than in many states. Laura J. Waterman, the clinical director of the Southern Arizona Mental Health Corporation in Tucson, criticized Pima officials for not seeking an involuntary evaluation. “Where does it reach a level where you say this person shouldn’t be a part of any community and we have a responsibility to do something about that?” she said.…Read More
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Red flags at a college, but tied hands
He was coming undone, that much is clear. Sometimes surly, sometimes seemingly unhinged, he was unpredictable in a way that made fellow students in a community college class want to leave the room. He had changed since high school: the shy, seemingly normal boy had experimented with drugs and, increasingly, with conspiracy theories that made sense to no one but himself.
“This guy wasn’t a missed case,” Randy Borum, an expert on threat assessment at the University of South Florida, said about Jared L. Loughner, the 22-year-old college dropout who is accused of trying to assassinate Representative Gabrielle Giffords of Arizona on Saturday, reports the New York Times.
“It wasn’t a case of ‘Gee, no one saw this coming,’ ” Dr. Borum said. “People saw it. But the question then was what do you do about it? Who do you call? The whole thing speaks to the need for some coordinated way to detect such threats.”…Read More