Nov 8, 2012 8:56 PM by Sam Salzwedel

Loughner learns his fate

TUCSON - Six of the people who attended the Congress on Your Corner that tragic Saturday morning addressed the media after Jared Lee Loughner was sentenced to serve seven life terms and an additional 140 years in a federal prison.

U.S. Attorney John Leonardo said, "this sentence assures that he will never be released from custody." The head of the FBI in Arizona James Turgal said, "he will never be able to harm the Tucson community or any other community ever again."

Many described Loughner's sentence as fair. Congressman Ron Barber, who was shot January 8 said, "in Loughner's case, I believe his behavior preceding the shooting, that people should have been alerted that he needed mental health treatment, had this happened this violent act might have never taken place."

Barber who replaced Giffords in Congress said he believed the punishment was adequate, "I hold no hatred for you. I am very angry, and sick at heart at what you did and the hurt you have imposed on all of us."

Pam Simon, a Giffords' staffer who was shot described her past with Loughner, "Jared, I know you did not choose this illness that led to this horrific tragedy. When you were a student at Tortolita Middle School and I was a teacher there at the same time you were a regular kid who liked music."

Bill Badger was standing in line at the Safeway that day and described what happened, "the individual went down the line shooting everybody when all of the sudden he stopped and looked at me...and when he got about ten feet from me he pointed the gun at me...I ducked I felt right across the back of my head." Badger described how the victims of the shooting and their families have found friendship and support in one another.

Randy Gardner was standing in line that Saturday but was not hit by the gunfire, "it something that just leaves a hole in your heart and it won't go away for all of us."

At the press conference Pima County Attorney Barbara LaWall announced the state will not be pressing charges against Loughner. LaWall said she reached the conclusion after speaking with the victims and their families.


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