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In Memorium: Remembering the Victims of the ‘Dark Knight Rises’ Shooting

Colorado Shooting Victims
The Sullivan Family/The Hoover and Boik Family/Jessica Ghawi

We had planning on starting fresh this week; moving on from the Colorado movie theater tragedy and returning to coverage of movies and television. But one more thing before we proceed. Let’s take a moment to meet the victims and remember all who died far too soon.

The media has spent a lot of time on the alleged shooter (whose name we won’t repeat here) but we think it’s only fair we focus a little more attention on the more important names: those whose lives were tragically ended in the early morning hours of Friday, July 20th. These are the 12 confirmed dead (courtesy CBS Denver) with some information on their lives and the friends and family they left behind. They’re sons and daughters and husbands and girlfriends and fathers and fellow movie fans.

RIP.

Jessica N. Ghawi, 24 – Ghawi, an aspiring sports journalist, had recently moved to Denver where she was working as an intern under the professional name Jessica Redfield. Many have found her active Twitter feed and blog (where she wrote about previously surviving a shooting in a Toronto mall).

Veronica Moser Sullivan, 6 – The youngest of the victims killed in the attack. She had just learned to swim, and at age 6, she was a “great little girl, excited about life,” her great-aunt Annie Dalton said. “She should be at 6 years old.” Her mother, Ashley Moser, remains hospitalized with gunshot wounds to her neck and abdomen.

John T. Larimer, 27 – A Navy sailor based at Buckley Air Force Base, where he was a cryptologic technician – a job that the Navy says on its website should be filled by someone with “exceptionally good character, above-average writing and speaking skills, a good memory, curiosity and resourcefulness.” Larimer was the youngest of five siblings. “We love you, John, and we will miss you always,” his parents said in a statement.

Alexander J. Boik, 18 - Boik, an 18-year-old known as AJ, had recently graduated from Gateway High School in Aurora. He was to start classes at the Rocky Mountain College of Art and Design in the fall. The family said in a statement that the 18-year-old was loved by all who knew him and was dating “a beautiful young lady” who was with him at the theater and survived.

Jesse E. Childress, 29 – An Air Force cyber-systems operator based at Buckley Air Force Base in Aurora. Air Force Capt. Andrew Williams described the 29-year-old from Thornton, Colo., as knowledgeable, experienced and respectful. “We’re going to miss him incredibly,” he said.

Jonathon T. Blunk, 26 – The 26-year-old served three tours in the Persian Gulf and North Arabian Sea between 2004 and 2009 and had plans to re-enlist in the Navy with the goal of becoming a Navy SEAL. Blunk was also a certified firefighter and emergency medical technician. He died in the shooting Friday after throwing himself in front of friend Jansen Young and saving her life. He leaves behind a four-year-old daughter and two-year-old son.

Alex M. Sullivan, 27 – Sullivan was celebrating both his 27th birthday and one-year wedding anniversary on the day he was killed. He was such a big movie fan that he took jobs at theaters just to see movies. “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.

Micayla C. Medek, 23 – She was 23 years old and juggling classes at Aurora Community College with a job at Subway. She was with a group of 10 friends at the ‘Dark Knight Rises’ screening. A Green Bay Packers fan, Medek, would plan her schedule around watching Packers games with her sister and father.

Matthew R. McQuinn, 27 – As the attack in the movie theater unfolded, Matt McQuinn dove in front of his girlfriend and her older brother to shield them from the gunfire. His girlfriend, Samantha Yowler, is recovering from surgery after she was shot in the knee at the theater.

Alexander C. Teves, 24 – A New Jersey native, Teves earned a master’s degree in counseling psychology in June from University of Denver and was planning on becoming a psychiatrist. His grandfather said in a statement: ““He was what you might call an ideal grandson…He had a lot to look forward to.”

Rebecca Ann Wingo, 32 – Wingo had started a job several months ago as a customer relations representative at a mobile medical imaging company. Said a friend, “She was pretty happy to be here.”

Gordon W. Cowden, 51 – At 51, he was the oldest of the victims killed in the shooting. He lived in Aurora, but was described as a “true Texas gentleman” in a family statement. He loved the outdoors and owned his own business. He had taken his teenage children to the ‘Dark Knight Rises’ screening, all of whom escaped without serious injury. Said his family, “He will be remembered for his devotion to his children and for always trying his best to do the right thing.”

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