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Frenetic activity by Loughner preceded rampage

For Jared L. Loughner, the morning of the deadly shooting rampage was a blur of activity.

He hustled to Walmart twice. He ran a red light, with the officer letting him off with a warning. Back home, he grabbed a black bag from the trunk of a family car and fled into the desert on foot, his suspicious father giving chase.

Later, Loughner took a taxi to a Safeway supermarket and began squeezing off round after round of his Glock handgun into the crowd.

The new details of the Walmart visits and the traffic stop emerged Wednesday, adding to the picture of the last frenetic hours the 22-year-old spent before the attack Saturday that critically wounded his apparent target, Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, and killed six others.

"It sounds like he was pretty busy that morning," Pima County Sheriff's Capt. Chris Nanos said.

The new details about the way Loughner spent the morning showed a harried young man dashing from store to store across this southern Arizona city in the hours before the shooting that shocked the nation.

Nanos said Loughner made two trips to Walmart and made some purchases. He declined to specify whether Loughner purchased ammunition.

At some point, an officer with the Arizona Game and Fish Department saw Loughner run a red light on a road that runs parallel to Interstate 10 at about 7:30 a.m. and pulled over his 1960s dark gray Chevy Nova, authorities said.

The stop was about 6 miles from the Safeway store, agency spokesman Tom Cadden said.

Wildlife officers don't usually make traffic stops unless public safety is at risk, such as running a red light. The officer took Loughner's driver's license and vehicle registration information but found no outstanding warrants and let him go.

Sometime later, Loughner was back at his house on a block of low-slung homes with palm trees and cactus gardens.

Loughner removed a black bag from trunk of the family car. His father, Randy, saw him and asked him what he was doing, said Rick Kastigar, chief of the department's investigations bureau.

Jared then ran off into the nearby desert, only to emerge later from a taxi at the supermarket where Giffords was holding an event to listen to constituents' concerns, authorities said.

Later Wednesday, documents were released revealing details of the Loughner family's encounters with the Pima County Sheriff's Department and Jared's run-ins with police at Pima Community College in Tucson.

The college records detail Loughner's increasingly bizarre behavior last year, culminating with his suspension in September. The 51 pages of campus police reports, obtained under an open records request, described a series of classroom outbursts and confrontations that prompted worried instructors to summon campus officers.

Loughner's behavior grew from disruptive to deranged over time, but never violent, according to the reports. In one, dated Sept. 23, an officer called to quiet an outburst described Loughner as incomprehensible, his eyes jittery, his head awkwardly tilted.

Sheriff's reports detailed nine contacts officers had with Loughner or one of his parents, from May 1994 to March 2010. The first with Jared Loughner came in September 2004, when he reported that a fellow student pricked him with a needle.

In May 2006, police arrested Loughner on a misdemeanor charge of being a minor in possession of alcohol. He was taken from his high school to a hospital because he was drunk on vodka he had taken from his father's liquor cabinet

"He advised he drank the alcohol because he was very upset as his father yelled at him," the report said. "I could see his eyes were very red and he was crying."

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