Giffords shooter sentenced to life in prison

TUCSON, Ariz. (CNN) - For the first time Thursday, former Arizona Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords came face-to-face with the man who almost took her life.

Inside a Tucson federal courtroom, Giffords and husband Mark Kelly approached the podium together for a statement at the sentencing of Jared Lee Loughner.

Addressing Loughner directly, Kelly said of his wife, "Mr. Loughner, you may have put a bullet through her head but you have not put a dent in her spirit..."

In January 2011, Giffords was holding a constituent meet-and-greet outside a Tucson supermarket when Loughner approached the Congresswoman and shot her in the head; 12 others were wounded and six were killed.

In August, Loughner agreed to plead guilty to 19 charges to avoid the death penalty. He was sentenced Thursday to seven consecutive life terms plus an additional 140 years with no possibility of parole.

In addition to Giffords and Kelly, at least ten other victims attended Thursday's sentencing, including Rob Barber, a former aide to Giffords who succeeded her in the U.S. House.

"That was a day that shocked our community and broke our hearts," said Rep. Barber, "and we struggled to make sense of it. But there is absolutely no way to make sense of those senseless acts."

Giffords retired from Congress in January 2012 to focus on her recovery.