TUCSON, Ariz. – Jared Lee Loughner is described as a loner. By all accounts, he stayed away from just about everyone, including his own neighbors. But, at Mountain View High School, it seems things were just a little bit different.
"He was a very nice kid. He was very, very intelligent. He would help me out with like my math and that's how it started off," explained Ashley Figueroa. She told KGUN9 she dated Jared Lee Loughner in high school.
"He just seemed like one of those kids who kind of kept to himself. He was very, very quiet. I kind of made the effort to talk to him because he kind of kept to himself. He was actually a really nice kid when it came to it…we started dating when I just turned 15," added Figueroa.
"How smart was he?" asked KGUN9. "He would lose me in conversations that we would have. He was very opinionated about his opinions, I guess you could say .He's very strongly opinionated. I always used to tell him he should be a lawyer because he always used to argue with people, the pros and cons. He used big words. I couldn't keep up with him," said Figueroa.
And, then, another revelation, "I know he smoked marijuana. I know he did some hallucinogens, that's what kind of turned me off as well because I wasn't into that kind of thing," said Figueroa. "Do you know what kind of hallucinogens he was doing?" "Mushrooms."
Ashley told us Jared became scary sometimes, "What was Jared like as a boyfriend when you did start dating?" KGUN9 asked. "He was overall, he was good. But, he had a temper problem. He used to scare me sometimes and that's why I left him. He kind of made me feel uncomfortable at times. He'd get really mad, clench his fist and then throw a kind of little tantrum; he'd flail his arms and walk off," added Figueroa."What sort of things would set Jared Loughner off that way? "Things about the government, things about politics...anything that pretty much had to do with the government." she said.
Figueroa added, that Loughner basically kind of thought that the government was crap and that it was just this big, bad thing that was trying to just take over everybody and that we had no say in anything; that we were controlled by them 100%, and he strongly disagreed and felt people should be able to make own choices," she noted.
And, life at home for Jared Lee Loughner was rough also.
"I know he had a difficult relationship with his parents," Figueroa said. "They would never let me come in the house, and I couldn't understand why they wouldn't let me come in."
"What do you think happened to Jared that it got to this point?" KGUN9 asked. "I honestly think he had some sort of definite dysfunction in his family, like his parents were just there but lacked parental role in life."
"When you heard what happened on Saturday and it registered that it was Jared Loughner, what was your initial reaction?" KGUN9 asked. "Oh my god, that's all I could really say. It was just hard for me to find somebody that had, well, it made me feel weird; like, what kind of person am I if I fell for somebody with those capabilities and those potentials," Figueroa questioned herself.
"After I heard the whole incident, I started thinking back about when we were dating, the weird conversations we had. That he would lose me because he'd go off on rants about how the government this government that I was kind of just like ok."
Figueroa believes Loughner planned the shooting, "He's a smart kid, I think he did his homework. And, I think he's playing everything. I think he's trying to get sent to a psych ward because he doesn't want to go to jail because he didn't die like he wanted to."
"I think he actually expected to get shot that day because if you looked at his Facebook and his Youtube everything was written in past tense. That's not common unless going commit suicide. Or, something bad is going to happen to you," Figueroa added.
"There's a lot of people out there right now who are saying Jared Loughner is mentally ill, I know you're not a doctor, but your gut feeling, is he mentally ill or an accumulation of everything you talked about?" "I don't think he's mentally ill at all. I think he's honestly, I think he's faking everything. I think he's planned it, planned for sometime."
"When you saw him 3 or 4 months ago, what was it like then?" KGUN9 asked. "It was like staring into somebody you didn't know," Figueroa commented.
"He didn't care about anything. He kind of had attitude that it didn't matter, that nothing mattered. There was nothing behind his eyes, is that what you're saying? It was like staring into someone soulless basically.
"Did you see a noticeable decline? Was he much more "normal" in high school than 3 or 4 months ago?" KGUN9 asked. "Yeah, he was different. He had common decency. He had a big heart, but I don't know what happened. I really don't know because he was not the person I knew. I knew he had problems but never thought it would escalate to something like this," concluded Figueroa.http://www.kgun9.com/Global/story.asp?S=13834898