Here’s a mix of accounts from the New York Times, in the Washington Post and Wall Street Journal about how Loughner’s sometimes “menacing” behavior — usually in the form of disruptive outbursts — disturbed some of those in class.
Ben McGahee, Pima College algebra instructor:
“I was getting concerned about the safety of the students and the school. I was afraid he was going to pull out a weapon.”
“I always felt, you know, somewhat paranoid,” McGahee said. “When I turned my back to write on the board, I would always turn back quickly–to see if he had a gun.”
Student Lynda Sorenson, 52:
“There was never a time when he was in class that he was not disruptive, and he scared me. He frightened the daylights out of me. I kept saying to people, ‘I’m afraid he’s going to come into the class with a gun.'”
Sorenson said that Loughner never threatened violence, but she felt menaced by him. She said her only previous contact with someone like that came at time when she was working in a psychiatric hospital.
Sorenson wrote in an e-mail to a friend:
“We do have one student in the class who was disruptive today, I’m not certain yet if he was on drugs (as one person surmised) or disturbed. He scares me a bit…. The teacher tried to throw him out and he refused to go, so I talked to the teacher afterward. Hopefully he will be out of class very soon, and not come back with an automatic weapon.”
McGahee said he had to complain to administration a number of times before Loughner was removed from class.
“They just said, ‘Well, he hasn’t taken any action to hurt anyone. He hasn’t provoked anybody. He hasn’t brought any weapons to class. We’ll just wait until he takes that next step.'”
From the Tucson Sentinel:
From February to September 2010, Loughner had five contacts with PCC police for classroom and library disruptions at Northwest and West campuses.
Is it odd that what finally got him suspended was the YouTube video he made that called the college unconstitutional.
From the Times:
The college had its lawyers review the video and decided at that point to take action, drafting a letter suspending Mr. Loughner, which was delivered to his parents’ home in northwest Tucson by two police officers on Sept. 29. At a meeting in early October at the college’s northwest campus, where he attended classes, Mr. Loughner said he would withdraw. Three days later, the college sent him a letter telling him that if he wanted to return, he would need to undergo a mental health evaluation. “After this event, there was no further college contact with Loughner,” the college said in a statement.