Gabby Giffords' Shooter Jared Loughner Sentenced & His Victims Say Their Piece

Heartbreaking 0

jared lee loughnerThis afternoon a judge in Arizona handed Jared Lee Loughner seven life sentences plus 140 years in prison for the mass shooting that killed 6 people and injured 13 others, including Senator Gabrielle Giffords. It's been almost a year since that January day, but the memories of the victims and witnesses are still fresh.

Today, before the sentencing, some of those survivors had the opportunity to confront Loughner and tell them exactly how his actions shattered their lives. At least 10 of the victims were in that courtroom, including former Senator Gabby Giffords. The victims' testimonies were often excruciating -- and at times inspiring. Here are just a few quotes from these powerful statements.

Patricia Maisch told Loughner, "I will not get closure."

Susan Heilman brought her 9-year-old neighbor, Christina Taylor Green, to the meet-and-greet event. Christina was killed. Over the months, Susan told Loughner, "I wanted to take you by the shoulders and shake you and scream at you."

Mary Reed brought her daughter, a former page for Giffords, to the event. She was shot in the arm. "My children will forever remember the moments of people when they died, the smell of blood everywhere. Mr. Loughner introduced my children to something sinister and evil."

Mavy Stoddard's husband died. She tried to revive him, and then passed out because she had been shot three times herself. "When you shot my precious husband Dorwan Stoddard, you ruined my life ... You took away my life my love my reason for living ... I am so lonesome. ... I hate living without [Dorwan]. No one to hold me, no one to love me, no one to talk to, no one to care."

Gabby Giffords' husband, Mark Kelly, spoke on her behalf with his wife by his side at the podium. He expressed frustration with some officials' stances on gun control and called for "a change in the way we do politics." He talked about how difficult it is now for Gabby to walk and talk. Things that she used to be good at doing are now a struggle.

"You sought to extinguish the beauty of life. ... You tried to create for us a world as dark and evil as your own," Kelly said. "Know this, and remember it always: You failed. Gabby and I give thanks for her life, her spirit, and her intellect, which are still a force in this world despite what you have done. Mr. Loughner, you may have put a bullet through her head, but you have not put a dent in her spirit, and her [ability to do good]. Gabby and I are done thinking about you."

And with that, Kelly and Giffords returned to their seats, hand in hand. Jared Loughner will not have the opportunity for parole.

What do you think we will remember most from that terrible January day?

 

Image via Pima County Sheriff's Office

crime, in the news, death