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August 8th, 2012
12:10 PM ET

Tucson shooting survivor says she forgives Loughner, finds closure in guilty plea

Jared Lee Loughner changed his plea to guilty on 19 different charges yesterday, admitting to killing six people and wounding 13 others outside a Tucson grocery store last year. The plea means that Loughner will avoid the death penalty, but he now faces life in prison.

Pam Simon was serving as Congresswoman Giffords' community outreach director at the time of the shooting and she was shot twice by Loughner. Simon was also in the courtroom yesterday when Loughner pleaded guilty and she joins Starting Point this morning to explain how she reacted to his guilty plea.

"My reaction was one of this is going to be closure, not only for myself but for many of the other survivors and families of the victims," Simon explains. "My only thought for [Loughner] now is just remorse that something couldn't have been done earlier, that he couldn't have had the medication he need earlier and this tragedy would not have happened."

Simon also stresses that she forgives Loughner, saying "It's time to forgive. It's time to move on, and it's time to find ways that we can both help people with the type of illness that Jared Lee Loughner had and also ways that we can find some common sense ways to examine who is going to be able to have a firearm."

Filed under: Jared Lee Loughner • Tuscon shooting
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