Continued from page 1

Mr. Loughner’s parents, silent and holed up in their home since attack, issued a statement Tuesday expressing remorse over the shooting.

“There are no words that can possibly express how we feel,” Randy and Amy Loughner wrote in a statement handed to reporters waiting outside their house. “We wish that there were, so we could make you feel better. We don’t understand why this happened.

“We care very deeply about the victims and their families. We are so very sorry for their loss.”

Sheriff’s deputies went to the Loughner home at least once before the attack, spokesman Jason Ogan said. He didn’t know why or when the visit occurred and said department lawyers were reviewing the paperwork and expected to release it Wednesday.

The visits were for nonviolent incidents, including a report by Jared Loughner of identity theft, a noise complaint and Mrs. Loughner’s claim that someone had stolen her license plate sticker, according to a report by the Wall Street Journal.

In addition to the new details about the hours before the shooting, interviews with those who knew the younger Mr. Loughner or his family painted a picture of a loner who tried to fit in.

Before everything fell apart, he went through the motions, as many young men do nowadays: living at home with his parents, working low-wage jobs at big brand stores and volunteering time doing things he liked.

None of it worked. His relationship with his parents was strained. He clashed with co-workers and police. And he couldn’t follow the rules at an animal shelter where he spent some time.

Mr. Loughner was arrested in October 2008 on a vandalism charge near Tucson after admitting he scrawled the letters “C” and “X” on a road sign in a reference to what he said was Christianity. His address listed on the police report was an apartment near his home.

Mr. Loughner eventually moved back in with his parents.

Even when he tried to do good, it didn’t work out.

A year ago, he volunteered walking dogs at the county animal shelter, said Kim Janes, manager of the Pima Animal Care Center. He liked dogs; neighbors remember him as the kid they would see walking his own.

But at the shelter, staff became concerned: He was allowing dogs to play in an area that was being disinfected after one had contracted a potentially deadly disease, the parvovirus. Mr. Loughner wouldn’t agree to keep dogs from the restricted area, and he was asked to come back when he would. He never returned.

Mr. Loughner grew up on an unremarkable Tucson block of low-slung homes with palm trees and cactus gardens out front. Fittingly, it’s called Soledad Avenue — Spanish for solitude.

Solitude found Mr. Loughner, even when he tried to escape it. He had buddies but always fell out of touch, typically severing the friendship with a text message. Zach Osler was one such friend.

Story Continues →