A Look At The Lives Of Colorado Shooting Victims [VIDEO]
The victims of a deadly shooting rampage during a midnight showing of “The Dark Knight Rises” included a military veteran and a 6-year-old girl. There also was an aspiring sports journalist and a man one day from his first wedding anniversary. Another gave his life saving his girlfriend and her brother. Here are their stories.
Jessica Ghawi recently wrote a blog post after surviving a shooting at a Toronto mall.
“I was shown how fragile life was on Saturday,” she wrote of the June 2 shooting that left two dead and several injured. “I saw the terror on bystanders’ faces. I saw the victims of a senseless crime. I saw lives change. I was reminded that we don’t know when or where our time on Earth will end. When or where we will breathe our last breath.”
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Friends say the 24-year-old who moved to Colorado from Texas about a year ago didn’t let the Toronto shooting her outlook on life.
“I think she even looked at that like, ‘Hey, even after that, I’m able to pursue my dream,” said Peter Burns, a radio sports show host with Mile High Sports Radio in Denver, where Ghawi recently interned.
She was pursuing a career in sports journalism and former colleagues described her as ambitious and hard-working. She went by the name “Redfield,” a play on her red hair, because it was easy to say and remember, both professionally and on her social media accounts.
She was a regular tweeter and her last post to the micro-blogging website stated in all capital letters, “movie doesn’t start for 20 minutes.”
The death of 23-year-old Micayla Medek was heartbreaking, said her father’s cousin, Anita Busch.
But Busch said the news, while heartbreaking, was a relief for the family after an agonizing day of waiting.
“I hope this evil act … doesn’t shake people’s faith in God,” she said.
Veronica Moser-Sullivan was the youngest of the victims killed in the attack.
Her mother, Ashley Moser, is in critical condition with gunshot wounds to her neck and abdomen. She has been in and out of consciousness and asking for her 6-year-old daughter during moments of lucidity, but she doesn’t know.
“Nobody can tell her about it,” said her aunt Annie Dalton. “She is in critical condition, but all she’s asking about is her daughter.”
Veronica had just learned to swim and her great-aunt described her as “vibrant” adding, “She was a great little girl, excited about life — she should be at 6 years old.”
Alex Sullivan’s family called him “their real life super hero,” and he was at “The Dark Knight Rises” premiere on his 27th birthday. He also was celebrating his first wedding anniversary.
“Alex was a gentle giant, known and loved by so many. He always had a glowing smile on his face and he made friends with everyone. Alex enjoyed all sorts of movies, was an avid comic book geek and loved the New York Mets,” the family said in a statement.
Sullivan was a big man with a warm smile and an innocence that endeared him to people, said Shelly Fradkin, whose son Brian was good friends with Sullivan.
She sat next to a makeshift memorial Friday near the theater where an oversized birthday card with a photo of a smiling Sullivan was displayed.
“He’s amazing. He was just a big teddy bear. Great hugs,” she said.
She said Sullivan was such a big movie fan that he took jobs at theaters just to see movies.
Fradkin and her son spent an “excruciating” day Friday trying to find Sullivan before learning of his death, she said.
“We’re shocked. We’re numb. We’re sick,” she said. “Our hearts are broken and we’re crushed.”
Also killed were:
—Jonathan T. Blunk, 26, of Aurora, worked at a hardware store, served five years in the U.S. Navy.
—Alexander J. Boik, 18, incoming freshman student at Rocky Mountain College of Art and Design
—Jesse Childress, 29, of Thornton, Colo., Air Force cyber-systems operator
—Gordon W. Cowden, 51
—John Larimer, 27, of Buckley Air Force Base, Navy cryptologist
—Matt McQuinn, 27, of Denver; technical support provider
—Alexander C. Teves, 24, of Phoenix, earned master’s degree in counseling psychology in June from University of Denver
—Rebecca Ann Wingo, 32, customer relations representative at a mobile medical imaging company
The Associated Press contributed to this story.