Posted 5:56 PM 11/8/2012 : 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.
Posted 5:50 PM 11/8/2012 : Survivor's confront Loughner in court
TUCSON - Survivors of the January 8 shootings, including Gabrielle Giffords faced Jared Loughner, the man who tried to kill them nearly two years ago at a northwest side shopping center, in court Thursday.
Jared Lee Loughner pleaded guilty to killing six people, and wounding 13 others, including former Congresswoman Gabby Giffords.
U.S. District Judge Larry A. Burns sentenced Loughner to seven consecutive life terms plus 140 years.
Inside the federal courthouse downtown, seven people spoke, some of them directing their comments directly toward Loughner.
It was the first time Mark Kelly had been in the same room with the man who tried to assassinate his wife, Gabby Giffords.
Kelly looked at Loughner and said, "Gabby would trade her own life to save those you savagely murdered that day."
"You may have put a bullet through her head but you haven't put a dent in her spirit and commitment," Kelly said.
Kelly looked directly at the man who tried to assassinate his wife.
"You have decades upon decades to contemplate what you did, but after today, Gabby and I are done thinking about you," Kelly said.
Mavi Stoddard addressed Loughner. She was shot three times, and her husband, Darwin, died protecting her from the bullets.
"I told him he destroyed my life because Dori was my life," Stoddard said.
"I wanted him to know how much he destroyed in 20 minutes, not just one family, but everybody else's. I did want him to realize that I forgive him," Stoddard said.
Suzi Heliman took nine-year-old Christina Taylor Green to meet Congresswoman Giffords that day, and was shot three times.
"For 22 months I wanted to take him by the shoulders and scream at him, and now was my chance to do it," Hellman said.
"I was hoping this would make me feel better, this chapter is over," Hellman said, "I'm still limping, I'm still missing Christina."
Mary Reed, who was shot shielding her daughter from Loughner's bullets, read her statement.
"You turned a civics lesson into a nightmare my children will never forget," Reed said.
"The smell, sounds of that horrible day, bloodied body, dying people, bullets everywhere. You've ended my children's sense of safety," Reed said.
Pam Simon, who was shot in the chest while working for Congresswoman Giffords, said, "It is my hope your parents find peace, find hope, and you find meaning each day of your life."
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