Victims react outside Loughner courtroom

Ron Barber
Ron Barber

TUCSON, AZ (Tucson News Now) - Jared Loughner will spend the rest of his life behind bars after he pleaded guilty Tuesday to 19 counts relating to last year's mass shooting.

A judge declared Loughner competent to stand trial and then accepted his 19 guilty pleas.

"Mr. Loughner will spend the remainder of his natural life in prison, with no possibility of paroles," said U.S. Attorney John Leonardo.

Loughner pleaded guilty to the Jan. 8, 2011 shooting rampage that killed 6 people and wounded 13 others.

For some survivors in the courtroom it was little comfort. "I 'm glad he knows what he did. It doesn't change the facts," said survivor Suzi Hileman.

Retired Army Colonel Bill Badger, who helped disarm Loughner, said he is relieved this is over. "I just want him locked up so he is being punished for what he did and so he can never do something like that again," he said.

Loughner's parents were inside the courtroom. After the hearing, they cried and hugged each other.

Ron Barber, who was wounded in the attack and later won election to Giffords' seat after she stepped down, also spoke outside the courtroom.

"I truly believe that justice was done today," he said after the hearing. "It is important to me that this individual never again is in a position in which he can cause harm to anyone else."

Copyright 2012 Tucson News Now. All rights reserved.