January 8th survivors reflect as 3 year anniversary approaches - Tucson News Now

January 8th survivors reflect as 3 year anniversary approaches

January 8th survivor, Pat Maisch lays roses at Safeway memorial on Saturday before Jan. 8 anniversary January 8th survivor, Pat Maisch lays roses at Safeway memorial on Saturday before Jan. 8 anniversary
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TUCSON, AZ (Tucson News Now) -

It was this first Saturday after the new year in 2011 when a gunman went on a shooting rampage, killing six people and wounding 13 more. Congressman Ron Barber and then Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords were among those hurt. Survivors are still healing from the tragedy and pushing for change.

Almost three years later, mass shooting survivors Patricia Maisch is still coming to terms with the January 8th tragedy. On Saturday, she placed roses at the Safeway memorial. Surrounding it are six stones honoring the victim's killed.

"It's always emotional, always touching," said Maisch. "I drive by here every day so it's not unusual for me to be here but it's a constant reminder."

A constant reminder of the day convicted killer Jared Loughner opened fire at then Congresswoman Gabby Gifford's "Congress On Your Corner" event.

On Saturday, a Northwest side library put out a display of memorabilia people left at the hospital. There are cards of sorrow, signs of encouragement and healing. As this third year anniversary rolls around, the case against the killer is closed. Loughner received life in prison, no death penalty. The victim's didn't want a trial.

"I think it's just learning to live with it. It's never closure and he'll be in jail the rest of his life, his parents suffer," said Maisch. "I don't know if you ever get closure on a thing like that."

Survivor Bill Badger feels the same way. After the shooting, he has PTSD and memory problems. He along with Maisch and other survivors have been fighting for stricter gun control.

"The first year almost nothing got done, the second year after Aurora, we got a lot done but now we're starting to make a lot more headway," said Badger.

"I think it's time to remember those six people murdered by changing the laws, keep that from happening to anymore people," said Maisch.

Copyright 2014 Tucson News Now All rights reserved.

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