The Victims of the Aurora, Colo., Theater Shooting
The 12 victims include a 6-year-old, an Air Force sergeant, and a good old-fashioned hero
Ever since news broke of the heinous mass shooting in an Aurora, Colo., screening of The Dark Knight Rises Friday morning, everyone from President Obama to the film’s cast has offered their condolences to those affected by the tragedy.
Jessica Ghawi was one of the first victims identified, but now a complete list has been released. From the youngest – a 6-year-old girl, whose mother remains in critical condition – to the eldest – a 51-year-old father whose teens escaped the violence – here are their stories.
The father of two, Blunk, 26, served five years in the Navy and had planned a trip for the day after the screening to visit his children and estranged wife, Chantel, in Reno, Nev.
Eighteen-year-old Boik played lacrosse at Gateway High School in Aurora and worked for the Organo Gold coffee company. Boik’s girlfriend and another of his friends attended the screening with him, but they both survived the shooting.
Childress, a staff sergeant in the Air Force reserves, had been on active duty with the 310 Force Support Squadron.
At 51, Cowden was the eldest victim. He had taken his two teenagers, who escaped unharmed. His family describes him as a “loving father, outdoorsman and small business owner, Cowden was a true Texas gentleman … A quick witted world traveler with a keen sense of humor, he will be remembered for his devotion to his children and for always trying his best to do the right thing.”
The aspiring sports journalist, 24 – whose professional name was Jessica Redfield – had blogged about her brush with fate last month, when she narrowly missed another random shooting at a Toronto mall. “I saw the victims of senseless crime. I saw lives change,” she wrote. “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.”
Naval Petty Officer Third Class John Larimer, 27, had been in the Navy since 2001. “He will be missed by all who knew him,” says his commanding officer, Cmdr. Jeffrey Jakuboski.
Medek was a student at the Community College of Aurora and was set to graduate in 2015. Under her Facebook’s “About” section, she wrote: “I’m a simple, independent girl (sic) who’s just trying to get her life together.”
McQuinn, a 27-year-old Target store worker, had been protecting girlfriend Samantha Yowler from gunshots when he was hit. Although Yowler was struck in the knee, she is expected to make a full recovery.
Just 6 years old, Veronica was the only child of Ashley Moser and had just recently learned to swim, her aunt Annie Dalton told reporters. Her mother was critically injured.
An employee at the Aurora movie theater, Sullivan’s 27th birthday coincided with Friday morning’s Dark Knight premiere. He also planned to celebrate his first wedding anniversary with his wife, Cassie, on Sunday.
A recent graduate of the University of Denver, the 24-year-old Phoenix native had earned his master’s degree in counseling psychology.
A mother of two girls, Wingo, 32, had joined the Air Force after high school and became a translator after mastering Mandarin Chinese. “I hear she died instantly, without pain, however the pain is unbearable,” her father, Steve Hernandez, posted on Facebook. “Lord why, why, why???”