The Main Stream

Jul 8, 2011 8:30 PM

Cab driver who took Loughner to Safeway breaks silence

TUCSON-In an exclusive story,the cab driver who drove Jared Loughner to the Safeway on January 8th breaks his silence. It's been six months since the Tucson Tragedy where 13 people were shot and 6 died.

January 8th was a normal day for John Marino. He was at work when he got the call to pick up a cab fare. Little did he know the ten minute drive would change Tucson forever, and impact so many lives. "I took him there. And I mean that was it, he was perfectly normal, nothing strange about him at all. Perfectly normal kid" he said.

A surveillance photo of John Marino was shown all over the country following the shooting. He says his mother saw it in San Diego and called him about it and also told him to talk to authorities. He says he did, and spent the next day talking with the FBI and Pima County Sheriff's detectives.

He tells News 4, he thinks about January 8th and relives it in his mind. "Just like you're doing your job and then the guy goes out and leaves your car and kills a bunch of people, you don't know he's gonna do that, unless you talk about it, he didn't talk about anything."

Marino said he heard about the shooting shortly after it happened, but didn't realize his connection to it. "Well I knew I just left there but i had no idea that i brought him there, I found that out later, but I said, wow I was in that parking lot 10 minutes ago."

Thoughts of that cab fare still haunt him. He told us, "I gave him the change and I left, and I guess right after I left was when he did it. No indication at all, like he was perfectly calm."

Marino says he keeps track of Jared Loughner's case. Regarding the pending trial, he said "I think he ought to be tried like a regular person and there's witnesses against him. You know we don't need somebody like that in society."

Marino thinks he must have had an angel with him that day, as he left the parking lot to pick up another cab fare after dropping off Loughner, but he prays for the victims and their families. "It's unfortunate ya know? But I mean, there are lunatics out there, obviously. Not much we can do about it though, but put them away," he said.

Six months have gone by and Tucson is healing through this tragedy, but for some, the pain of what happened will never be forgotten.

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