Loughner's girlfriend says split sent him over the edge
a van carrying Jared Lee Loughner leaves a Phoenix Courthouse, and inset, the suspected gunman’s mugshot. Source: AP
KELSEY Hawkes, who dated Arizona gunman Jared Lee Loughner for a year in high school, has spoken out for the first time in a series of interviews, saying that their breakup put him on a downward spiral that ended in Saturday's horrific massacre.
"My breaking up with him was not the cause of him going off the rails but it was definitely the start of it," Hawkes, 21, told the UK’s Daily Mail in an interview published on Thursday. "something changed in him. He was not the same person when I told him it was over."
Hawkes dated Loughner for a year in 2005 when she was 15 and he was 16 at Mountain View High School in Tucson, Arizona.
In a separate interview with KGUN-TV, Hawkes described Lougher as a "good" guy, though someone who had a temper.
"He was a very nice kid. He was very, very intelligent. He would help me out with, like, my math and that’s how it started off," she told the station. "He was, overall, he was good. but he had a temper problem. He used to scare me sometimes and that’s kind of why, the reason I left him, because he kind of made me feel uncomfortable at times.
"like he’d get really mad, and he would clench his fist really tight and, like, kind of almost, like, have a little tantrum and just kind of flail his arms and walk off."
In the interviews, she described how her ex-boyfriend took marijuana and mushrooms and was one of the "Gothic kids."
Hawkes recounted that she wasn’t allowed to enter the Loughner home and that his family seemed dysfunctional.
"I honestly think he probably had some sort of definite dysfunction in his family. his father as far as I know worked a lot and, you know, kind of picked on him," she told KGUN. "He basically didn’t really have parental figures. It’s kind of like having roommates, you know you just kind of live with them and they were just kind of there."
Still, Hawkes said Loughner was a nice guy with a big heart when they first started dating.
"Yes, he was different. He had common decency, you could see it. He had a big heart for people but I don’t know what happened," she said.
Of her own reaction to first hearing about Saturday’s shooting that killed six and injured 14, including Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords, Hawkes said, "Oh my God, that’s all I could really say and I just … it was just hard for me to find that somebody that had, well, it made me feel weird; like, it made me feel like, what kind of person am I if I fell for somebody who had, like, those capabilities and those potentials."