gabrielle giffords

Gabby Giffords gabrielle giffords - 6491747072
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Jared Loughner, the gunman in the mass shooting in Tucson, AZ, in January 2011,  pleaded guilty today to killing six and injuring 13, including the attempted assassination of former Rep. Gabrielle Giffords.

The plea deal should keep Loughner behind bars for life, but saves him from a potential death penalty had he been convicted at trial.

Giffords and her husband, astronaut Mike Kelly, released a statement in support of the deal:

The pain and loss caused by the events of January 8, 2011 are incalculable. Avoiding a trial will allow us -- and we hope the whole Southern Arizona community -- to continue with our recovery and move forward with our lives.