Police Release Timeline Of Arizona Shootings

Police in Arizona have released a timeline of events before, during and after Saturday's shooting in Tucson. Host Michele Norris speaks to NPR's Martin Kaste, who has the latest on the investigation.

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ROBERT SIEGEL, host:

From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Robert Siegel.

MICHELE NORRIS, host:

And I'm Michele Norris.

To Tucson now, where there are new details to tell you about - information from law enforcement that further fills in the picture of exactly what happened last Saturday at the Safeway on Oracle Road.

NPR's Martin Kaste is with us now from Tucson.

And, Martin, let's start with a revised timeline which was released today by the sheriff's office.

MARTIN KASTE: What they're doing is they're filling in more of the white space, the gaps in the time leading up to the attack, especially the night before the shooting. That's where we're getting the most new information.

According to this timeline, it looks like the alleged shooter, Jared Loughner, dropped off a roll of film - 35-millimeter film - at a Walgreens here, that's 11:30 p.m., the night before. He then checked into a motel. He was there for only about two hours or so. And around 2:19 a.m. - right in the middle of the night - he goes back to the Walgreens to claim those photos. Then around 4 a.m., he posts one of them on MySpace, along with an entry he's titled "Goodbye Friends." We don't have any more details about what he had on that MySpace page, but that title says quite a bit by itself.

Then according to the timeline, some new information here, we see that he started sort of an attempt to buy the last things he'd need starting around 6 a.m. He kind of goes on a shopping trip. He visits two different Wal-Marts and a convenience store. And at the second Wal-Mart, he makes his most ominous purchases according to this timeline. He buys a black backpack-style diaper bag and ammunition to put inside of it.

And as we've reported earlier, we know more about the morning here. That morning then, he was stopped running a red light. He got off with a warning. He then had a run-in with his father early in the morning, took off running. His father chased him but didn't catch him. And then a little later, he called the taxicab, which allegedly took him to the scene of the crime.

NORRIS: Martin, reaching back to that night before the shootings, do we know anything more about those photos?

KASTE: Well, the photos, that's the newest piece that's come in here this afternoon that's quite fascinating. The photos are apparently in the possession of the FBI. They're not releasing them - at least for now - but sources are telling NPR that the photos are lewd, that they show Loughner in a red G-string and holding a Glock pistol near his crotch and by his buttocks. So far, we have not seen those photos.

NORRIS: Does this new information change the overall narrative of this story?

KASTE: Well, what it adds is this frenetic activity the night before the attack. Just the fact that he was staying in a motel and not at home, that raises some questions by itself about what kind of warning, if any, his parents might have had that he was acting strangely.

NORRIS: Martin, before we let you go, can you please give us a quick update on Congresswoman Giffords and her condition?

KASTE: Well, the neurosurgeon treating Giffords has said today that the doctors are, quote, "actually confident" that she's making progress in her recovery. They say that her eyes are opening more frequently, that she's responding to more complex sequences of instructions and activity.

And one of the staffers I talked to today - one of her congressional staffers who was also wounded, Pam Simon - told me that she visited Giffords in the hospital and held her hand. And when Giffords' husband told her who it was, who was there visiting her, she squeezed her hand quite significantly - very obviously in a form of greeting to her. So that was greeted as great news by the staffers in her district office.

NORRIS: Martin, thank you very much.

KASTE: You're welcome.

NORRIS: That's NPR's Martin Kaste in Tucson.

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