He was coming undone, that much is clear. Sometimes surly, sometimes seemingly unhinged, he was unpredictable in a way that made fellow students in a community college class want to leave the room. He had changed since high school: the shy, seemingly normal boy had experimented with drugs and, increasingly, with conspiracy theories that made sense to no one but himself.
“This guy wasn’t a missed case,” Randy Borum, an expert on threat assessment at the University of South Florida, said about Jared L. Loughner, the 22-year-old college dropout who is accused of trying to assassinate Representative Gabrielle Giffords of Arizona on Saturday, reports the New York Times.
“It wasn’t a case of ‘Gee, no one saw this coming,’ ” Dr. Borum said. “People saw it. But the question then was what do you do about it? Who do you call? The whole thing speaks to the need for some coordinated way to detect such threats.”