Suspect Jared Lee Loughner spent a hectic 24 hours before the deadly Arizona shooting flitting across Tucson, buying ammunition, visiting convenience stores, getting film processed into provocative photographs and posting a farewell message, “Goodbye friends” on a social networking site.
The Pima County Sheriff’s Department on Friday released the most complete chronology to date of Loughner’s travels during the hours before the attack that left six dead and 13 injured outside a Safeway market where Rep. Gabrielle Giffords was meeting with constituents. Several people in the crowd apprehended Loughner, who is being held on charges of murder and attempted murder of federal employees.
The chronology adds some details to what had already been known about Loughner’s movements, but also includes some stops, including one dealing with photographs, that were not known.
It begins with the suspect, 22, buying a Glock 19, a 9-millimeter handgun, with extended magazine and a box of ammunition at the end of November. A similar gun was recovered at the scene of the Safeway shootings, police said.
The chronology then picks up Loughner at 11:35 p.m. MST, the day before the shooting spree. Loughner is reported to have dropped off a roll of 35-millimeter film to be developed at Walgreens.
A corporate spokesman for the drug store chain on Friday refused to discuss the pictures, which he said were turned over to authorities.
“Private video and photos obtained from businesses regarding the shooting, as well as the photos that Loughner picked up at the Walgreens, are in the possession of the FBI,” the sheriff’s office said in a prepared statement.
A federal law enforcement official, who has been advised about the photos but has not seen them, said Friday that several photographs showed Loughner “posing with the gun” in a couple of provocative shots he took himself. He said the photos showed Loughner holding a 9-millimeter Glock 19 pistol next to his nearly naked buttocks and crotch area.
The source asked not to be identified because the case is continuing.
The New York Times earlier reported that law enforcement officials have “multiple photos of Jared L. Loughner posing with a Glock 9mm pistol next to his naked buttocks and dressed in a bright red g-string.”
From Walgreens, Loughner went to a Circle K convenience store and then checked into a Motel 6 at 12:29 a.m.
But Loughner didn’t stay long in the motel. By 2:19 a.m., he was back at the Walgreens where he made a purchase and retrieved the photos. He then went to a Chevron station about 2:34 a.m.
It was at 4:12 a.m. that Loughner posted a bulletin on the social networking site MySpace. The post was called “Goodbye friends” and contained a photo from the Walgreens trove, police said.
Two hours later, Loughner made the first of three trips to Wal-Mart. At 6:12 a.m., police said he made a purchase, then went to another Circle K where he also made a purchase at 6:21 a.m.
He returned to Wal-Mart in the Foothills Mall at 7:04 a.m. where he attempted to buy ammunition.
Twenty-three minutes later, at a Super Wal-Mart on North Cortaro Road, Loughner bought ammunition and a black diaper bag, backpack style. Police have said they recovered the bag days after the shooting.
From the Super Wal-Mart, Loughner, driving the family Chevy Nova, went through a red light and was stopped by an Arizona Game and Fish Department officer at Cortaro Road and Interstate 10.
After the traffic stop, Loughner drove home where he had a confrontation with his father, Randy. The younger Loughner removed the black bag from the car and fled by foot into the desert, sometime between 7:31 a.m. and 9:40 a.m.
By 9:41 a.m., Loughner was s back at the Circle K that he had visited more than three hours earlier. There he got a taxi that took him to the Safeway.
He arrived at the shopping plaza at 9:54 a.m. when he and the taxi driver entered the Safeway to get change for the fare.
The shots begin at 10:11 a.m.
Serrano reported from Washington and Muskal from Los Angeles