The parents of Jared Lee Loughner issued a public statement today saying they could not find the words to express how terrible they felt about the mass shooting Saturday in which six people were slain and Rep. Gabrielle Giffords was shot in the head.

Dozens of reporters have been staked out at the Loughner home for days and the family has not come outside since Saturday.

Late Monday afternoon a man walked up to reporters and passed out a written statement. He did not answer questions.

This statement was issued today by the Loughners:

This is a very difficult time for us.

We ask the media to respect our privacy.

There are no words that can possibly express how we feel.

We wish that there were, so we could make you feel better.

We don't understand why this happened. It may not make any difference, but we wish that we could change the heinous events Saturday.

We care very deeply about the victims and their families. We are so very sorry for their loss.

Thank you, the Loughner Family

San Diego attorney Judy Clarke, a veteran of death-penalty cases, was assigned to represent Loughner at trial. She arrived at the Loughner's home on the northwest side early in the afternoon and was still inside the house after 4 p.m.

Clarke led the team that represented Loughner at his court appearance in Phoenix Monday.

Clarke succeeded in negotiating a guilty plea and a life sentence for the Unabomber, Theodore Kaczynski.

She also helped spare the lives of serial bomber Eric Rudolph and Susan Smith, convicted of drowning her two little boys.