Posted: Nov 8, 2012 5:04 PM by NBC News
Updated: Nov 8, 2012 5:04 PM
TUCSON - Nearly two years after committing one of the worst mass shootings in U.S. history Jared Lee Loughner learned his fate in a Tucson courtroom Thursday.
Emotions were raw as for the first time victims and family members of those killed came face-to-face with Loughner.
Among them was the Congresswoman he tried to assassinate that fateful January morning, Gabrielle Giffords.
As he arrived at the federal courthouse in Tucson, Loughner already knew his sentence.
It was part of a plea deal to spare his life.
What he world would learn in the hearing is that the pain and emotions from that killing spree in January of 2011 are still raw, and at times overwhelming.
Often through tears, and always focused directly on Loughner, survivors shared heart-wrenching stories of that day, loved ones lost and the struggle to move forward.
The target of the attack, and for so many the face of the tragedy, former Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords, stood at her husband's side as he sternly addressed Loughner.
"Every day is a continuous struggle to do those things she was once so very good at. You tried to create for all of us a world as dark and evil as your own. But know this, and remember it always: You failed. You have decades upon decades to contemplate what you did. But after today. After this moment. Here and now. Gabby and I are done thinking about you," Mark Kelly said.
During his statement to Loughner, Mark Kelly also lambasted Arizona Governor Jan Brewer for not doing enough for gun control and mental health in her state.
Governor Brewer has not responded to Kelly's criticism.
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