Loughner’s ‘devastated’ parents may break silence

Liz Goodwin

The parents of Arizona shooting suspect Jared Lee Loughner are "hurting real bad" and are "devastated," according to their neighbor Wayne Smith, who brought them the mail Monday as they holed up in their home, away from the prying eyes of the media.

Smith said Randy and Amy Loughner are planning to release a statement, according to the Wall Street Journal's Charles Forelle. It would be their first public comments since their son was accused of a gun attack on Rep. Gabrielle Giffords (D-Ariz.) that killed six people. Randy Loughner has already written the statement but has not decided on how he will release it, Forelle reports.

Unnamed sources told the Journal that the Loughners hadn't realized the extent of their son's problems.

Smith and two other neighbors painted a picture of a private family largely unknown to their neighbors. Smith, who has lived by them for decades, said he didn't know the couple's last name until Saturday.

"They liked their privacy," longtime neighbor George Gayan told the Journal. Randy Loughner didn't work, neighbors report; Amy Loughner was a parks manager for Pima County, according to the Los Angeles Times.

Another neighbor, Stephen Woods, said Randy Loughner was angry at him over uncollected trash, once shouting at him across a Walmart parking lot: "Trash people!"

The Journal says Smith was the one who told the Loughners about their son's suspected role in Saturday's slayings. They had returned home from shopping to find their house covered in crime-scene tape.

"She almost passed out right there," Smith said. "He sat in the road with the tape up and cried."

"He's crying and hanging on to me, and she's not even out of bed," Smith told the Los Angeles Times. "He worshiped the boy."

(Loughner's mug shot: AP)