By Mark Stine - email
Tucson, AZ (KOLD) - Tattoo artists with Sacred Art Tattoo on Fourth Avenue say Jared Loughner came in to their shop in October wanting a tattoo.
"When Jared first came in he was a little bit shy, a little bit timid, it was his first tattoo," Brittney Ramirez remembered.
Immediately, Ramirez says she got a weird vibe from the accused gunman.
She explained, "He knew what he wanted. He wanted the 9mm bullet tattooed, so he was kind of firm about that."
The artists asked him why.
Ramirez said, "He kind of just looked at us at first, kind of gave us a smirk and then he said he liked to shoot things. Not really explaining what he liked to shoot, just kind of said he liked to shoot things."
Lenny Mental, owner of Sacred Art, says the request for a bullet tattoo isn't out of the ordinary.
"It wasn't that abnormal for someone to want bullets. People get bullet belts, people get guns in their pants, it's really not that uncommon especially with the military base nearby and everything," Mental told KOLD.
While getting his tattoo, Loughner talked with the artists about dreams he was having.
Ramirez told us, "The only thing he was talking about was how he knew how to control them. Not knowing, we didn't know what controlling his dreams meant, so we kind of asked him about it and he started talking about it and eventually stopped talking and shied away from it."
Sometime after the first bullet tattoo in October, Loughner returned for another tattoo, this time a second bullet next to the first.
"The second guy who tattooed him said he was just as weird, when he left he said that guy seemed like a Columbine shooter. He came off kind of sketchy to all of us," Ramirez said.
The artists at Sacred Art say they feel for the families of those killed or injured in the tragedy, but never could have expected this.
Lenny Mental said, "We had no idea he was going to go out and hurt anybody. He didn't act that abnormal, you know, he seemed a little off the wall, but a lot of people are."
Authorities tell KOLD News 13 that Jared Loughner used a 9mm Glock handgun in the Jan. 8 shootings that killed six people.