January 12, 2011 / 7:00 PM / 7 years ago

Disruptive Arizona suspect axed from online group

SINGAPORE (Reuters) - The Arizona man accused of a killing spree that targeted a U.S. congresswoman was kicked out of an Internet gaming group last year in part due to statements that other members found disruptive and disturbing.

“Wondering why i feel hate,” Jared Loughner wrote in an Internet chatroom. “You know like when you sit there and you feel tingles of hate. ... like you did something wrong.”

His online chat sessions were available to members of the online gaming group, of which I am a member.

Over a five-month period, Loughner described mental breakdowns and expressed disdain for politicians and other government officials.

“Politicians on tv passing laws ... I made fun of them Made them do dirty stuff,” he wrote under the screen name Erad in often incoherent and misspelled posts.

Loughner was apprehended immediately after Saturday’s shootings outside a Tucson shopping mall in which six people were killed and Democratic congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords was critically wounded.

He had registered for the group under his real name. Other members of the group, who worked together as a team in the online game Earth Empires, were perplexed by his outbursts.

“I have no idea what you’re talking about 50% of the time,” wrote one member. “Is that rap? cause i‘m not a fan of it.”

Loughner joined the online group, Sons of Liberty, in December 2009 and was kicked out in April 2010. He was expelled for joining a rival team in the game, and because group members found his frequently rambling statements disruptive.

The pattern was to reassert itself again in the months before the shooting, as Loughner was expelled from a community college in Arizona due to disruptive behavior that unnerved many of his fellow students.

“Jared and I were friends for most of my life but throughout the past year we rarely spoke due to the fact I saw he was mental,” one game participant wrote on a public message board.


Loughner is the only suspect in the shooting. He has been charged with murder and attempted assassination of a member of Congress.

In the chatroom for the group, Loughner posted snippets of poetry, shared his favorite books and described difficulties in finding work and meeting girls. Several times he described mental troubles.

“I had amental breakdown ... hyper ventaliting and yelling,” he wrote.

At one point, he appears to discuss U.S. officials. Loughner had contacted Giffords before and also had been rejected from the Army.

“When a recuriter thinks bout you when you deny the contract and then you think about each other without each other kowing and then you queestion a representer from the US and then you think about her and she thinks about you ... and the girls you liek are gonna cheat,” he wrote.

After he was expelled from Sons of Liberty, Loughner joined other groups within Earth Empires, a text-based strategy game.

A game administrator declined to provide more chat sessions to Reuters, saying he needed to speak with his lawyer first.

In public message boards, other players worried that their game would come under unwelcome scrutiny in the wake of the shooting.

“so now we are all suspect to every political hate crime from here on out,” one participant wrote.

(John Goh is a pictures editor based in Singapore)

Writing by Andy Sullivan in Washington; Editing by David Storey

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