In an elementary algebra class at the college taught by math instructor Ben McGahee in the summer of 2010, Mr. Loughner was an immediate nuisance and often nonsensical, Mr. McGahee said. On the first day of class he blurted out, "How can you deny math instead of accepting it?"I'm wondering how Loughner behaved in other classes.
"The other students were concerned after class," Mr. McGahee said. "They said he was red in the face, shaking."
On his first test Mr. Loughner wrote "Mayhem Fest!!!" in large letters, Mr. McGahee said.
Mr. McGahee said he appealed to counselors and a dean to have Mr. Loughner removed from his class on several occasions.
"I was pretty concerned about what he was capable of doing," Mr. McGahee said. "They said there's nothing we can do, he hasn't brought a weapon, he hasn't taken any action."
Mr. McGahee said that for the first week of class, a campus police officer was stationed outside the room, which Mr. McGahee understood was because Mr. Loughner was known to be troubled.
But school spokesman Paul Schwalbach said a campus officer was never assigned to Mr. Loughner.
"He was a disruptive and an odd, strange sort of character in the class," Mr. Schwalbach said. "He wasn't dangerous."
Mr. Loughner finally left Mr. McGahee's class during the third week following a heated confrontation that involved the campus officer, a dean and a counselor, according to Mc.Gahee and Mr. Schwalbach.
Mr. Schwalbach said the outbursts in classrooms and libraries didn't indicate to school officials a mental health problem or other concerns that would draw in local authorities outside of the school.
In September, after five run-ins with campus police for disruptive behavior and the discovery of rantings on YouTube, Mr. Loughner was issued a suspension letter, delivered by police officers to Mr. Loughner's home. After he had already withdrawn from the school, the college sent him a letter informing him he would have to take a mental health exam if he were to return.
Suspect Showed Signs of Imbalance
JANUARY 10, 2011, 3:42 A.M. ET
For my money, E. Fuller Torrey is the person to read on this subject:
The Seriously Ill and the Worried Well
Make Kendra's Law Permanent by E. Fuller Torrey