PHOENIX -- More than two years after Jared Loughner opened fire on a crowd gathered at a Tucson supermarket in an assassination attempt on a U.S. Congresswoman, thousands of pages of documents about the rampage give new insight into the man behind the gun.
The documents detail how and where he bought his weapon, how he acted at the scene just moments before shooting Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords point-blank in the head, then turning the gun on the crowd, killing six and injuring 13 others.
Perhaps the most intriguing detail found in the nearly 3,000 pages of documents is the behavior of Loughner, both before and after the attack.
He told one deputy after being captured: "I'm the only person that knew about this" and politely thanked other officers for letting him use the bathroom, a stark contrast to comments made by Loughner's parents describing his run-ins with authorities and his increasingly erratic behavior.
Loughner's father told detectives "it was a challenge to have a rational conversation with him" but admitted that Jared had never seen a doctor about his mental illness.
It's that illness that led Giffords to call for stricter background checks on gun purchases, and brought her back to the Safeway parking lot earlier this month for a gun control rally.
"Be bold, be courageous - please support background checks," Giffords urged supporters.
Loughner was sentenced in November to seven consecutive life sentences plus 140-years.
He pleaded guilty to avoid the death penalty.
He is serving his sentence at a federal prison medical facility in Springfield, Missouri.
-- Chris Clackum, NBC News reports