TUCSON, Ariz. (AP) — Authorities on Tuesday released nearly 600 photos that investigators took in the aftermath of the Tucson shooting rampage that killed six people and wounded former U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords and 12 others.
The photos showed the handgun, high-capacity pistol magazines and knife that Jared Lee Loughner carried with him as he carried out the January 2011 attack.
The images also include Loughner’s receipt for the motel where he stayed the night before the shooting, a credit card record showing ear plugs he bought and dozens of vehicles that were in the parking lot of the shopping center where the shooting unfolded.
The release of photos didn’t include any gruesome crime scene images of victims that are being shielded from the public out of respect to those who were injured and killed in the attack.
The images were released nearly two months after the sheriff’s department made public roughly 2,700 pages of investigative reports examining the shooting, marking the public’s first view into documents that authorities had kept private since the attack.
The records provided more detail about the deteriorating psychological condition of Loughner in the hours leading up to the attack and the first glimpse into Loughner’s family.
News organizations seeking police records and photos from the shooting were denied access in the months after the attack and after the arrest of Loughner, who was sentenced in November to seven consecutive life sentences, plus 140 years, after he pleaded guilty to 19 federal charges.
In late February, U.S. District Judge Larry Burns cleared the way for the release of the photos and records after Star Publishing Company, which publishes the Arizona Daily Star in Tucson, joined by Phoenix Newspapers Inc., which publishes The Arizona Republic, and KPNX-TV, sought their release. The judge said Loughner’s right to a fair trial was no longer on the line now that his criminal case has resolved.
Arizona’s chief federal judge and a 9-year-old girl were among those killed in the rampage. Giffords, who was left partially blind with a paralyzed right arm and brain injury, resigned from Congress last year and has since started, along with her husband, a gun control advocacy group.
Loughner’s guilty plea enabled him to avoid the death penalty. He is serving his sentence at a federal prison medical facility in Springfield, Mo., where he was diagnosed with schizophrenia and forcibly given psychotropic drug treatments to make him fit for trial.
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