Democratic Rep. Ron Barber, a former staffer of Rep. Gabrielle Giffords who then replaced her in Congress, was hurt in the shooting that also injured the former Congresswoman.
The man who pleaded guilty to killing six people and injuring 13 others — including former Rep. Gabrielle Giffords (D-Ariz.) — will spend the rest of his life in prison.
A U.S. district judge sentenced 24-year-old Jared Lee Loughner to life in prison without the possibility of parole for the Jan. 8, 2011, shooting in a Tucson, Ariz., Safeway parking lot.
Today’s sentencing hearing also served as an opportunity for Loughner’s victims to confront him. Giffords’ husband, Mark Kelly, spoke on her behalf.
“Her life has been forever changed. Plans she had for our family and her career have been immeasurably altered,” Kelly said, according to the Associated Press. “Every day is a continuous struggle to do those things she once was so good at.”
Kelly added: “Mr. Loughner, you may have put a bullet through her head but you haven’t put a dent in her spirit and her commitment to make the world a better place.”
Giffords was severely hurt in the shooting and resigned from Congress about a year later to focus on her recovery. She was replaced by Rep. Ron Barber (D), who was one of her staffers at the time. He was also injured in the shootings. His re-election bid for a full term currently remains too close to call.
Rep. Elijah Cummings, D-Md., right, hugs Harold Schaitberger, General President of the International Association of Fire Fighters, after the Congressman spoke at the IAFF's Legislative Conference General Session at the Hyatt Regency on Capitol Hill, March 9, 2015. The day featured addresses by members of Congress and Vice President Joe Biden.