11.27.1987 – 7.20.2012
We have now established the Official Jessica Redfield Sports Journalism Scholarship Fund. If you would like to donate, you can do so here. We also would like to note that there are 11 other families who have lost loved ones and funds of equal importance will be setup in their names.
At approximately 0215 CST, I received an hysterical, and almost unintelligible, phone call from my mother stating that my sister, Jessica Ghawi, had been shot while attending the midnight showing of “The Dark Knight Rises” in Denver, CO. I was able to contact the man that was with my sister, mutual friend Brent, who stated that they were in the theatre when an incendiary device was fired into the crowd and that shots rang out immediately afterwards. Brent further stated that he took two rounds and that my sister took one round followed by an additional round which appeared to strike her in the head. At this time, I do not have confirmation that she is alive or dead. Brent has been transported with non-life threatening injuries to a local hospital. I am on the next flight out of San Antonio to Denver and have already contact Aurora PD, operating jurisdiction, as next of kin.
I will update this as more information becomes available to me.
0510: NBC news reporting 14 confirmed fatalities and 50 wounded
0630: Flying solo on SWA flight 218 to Denver
0745 (local): In Denver and on the way to Aurora to see Brent in the hospital.
0830 (local): Arrived at Children’s Hospital of Denver to see the man who was with Jessica. Difficult time obtaining access to see him due to heightened security. He is stable after being shot at least once. He was able to relay what happened in the theatre.
1000 (local): I again want to thank everyone who has reached out to myself and my family. A few people I want to thank specifically: Rackspace, Vid Luther, Nan Palmero, City of Seguin Fire Department (for going to visit my mother and bringing her breakfast) and Peter Burns for acting as our family liaison.
1015 (local): This is what I have been told by Brent, who was with my sister at the time of the shooting. This will be the only statement that I will make on the events surrounding what appears to be her death.
Jessica and Brent were seated in the middle portion of the theatre when a device was thrown into the theatre that produced a “hissing” sound. The theatre than began to fill with smoke which is when patrons began to move from their seats. At that time, shots were fired. Brent and Jessica immediately dropped to a prone position for cover. Jessica advised multiple times for someone to call 911, which Brent immediately attempted to do. Brent then heard Jessica scream and noticed that she was struck by a round in the leg. Brent, began holding pressure on the wound and attempted to calm Jessica. It was at this time that Brent took a round to his lower extremities. While still administering first aid, Brent noticed that Jessica was no longer screaming. He advised that he looked over to Jessica and saw what appeared to be an entry wound to her head. He further stated that Jessica presented with agonal respirations. Brent then took what may have been his only chance to escape the line of fire and exited the structure where he then contacted my mother. Brent’s actions are nothing but heroic. The veracity of any other statements not issued by myself or Peter Burns should be questioned.
1055 (local): I have yet to be contacted directly from Aurora PD. After getting the runaround from APD, I was able to speak with someone within the department who states that the deceased have yet to been identified.
1118 (local): Have established a media “base camp” to act as a family PIO with Peter Burns in LoDo.
1227 (local): Have received word from the coroner’s office that Jessica has indeed died of injuries sustained in the shooting.
1315 (local): Established a temporary base camp at the local NBC affiliate with Peter Burns. Going to continue to give interviews until the victims names are remembered and not the coward of a shooter.
1405 (local): For those of you who may not know, my sister was also involved in the mass shooting at the Eaton Centre mall a little over one month ago. Her thoughts on the incident can be read here: http://jessicaredfield.wordpress.com/2012/06/05/late-night-thoughts-on-the-eaton-center-shooting/
Also, to show what type of person she was: http://youtu.be/SY8l1gZTPoA
1516 (local): What will you remember most of Jessica?
1600 (local): Heading to Aurora for the first time.
1616 (local): Coroner now has me listed as next of kin. Official cause of death is severe cranial cerebral trauma caused by a penetrating GSW to the head. Essentially, she died quickly and painlessly. Now we will begin the process of bringing her home to celebrate her life.
1515 (local): Will be on CNN with Anderson Cooper at 6pm mountain, 7 central.
2000 (local): The outpouring of support for my family is overwhelming. Hearing from people from all of the world. My family thanks you. Let us continue to focus on the victims.
2005 (local): Been doing interviews all day in the name of my sister and all the other victims. Going to interview with Greta Van (with Peter Burns) followed by Erin Burnett.
2200 (local): Peter and I will not be fielding anymore interviews tonight. Thank you so much to ABC, NBC, CNN, FOX, and CBS. Special thanks to Anderson Cooper. You have all brought Jessica’s story forward. We can only hope that we can do the same with the rest of the victims.
2208 (local): Recevivng word that another victim has been identified. Alex Sullivan died of wounds sustained in the shooting. It was his 27th birthday. It appears that he leaves behind his wife and extended family. I look forward to hearing about his life through his family and friends. Let us remember his name.
Day Two 7/21
1015 (local): Meeting with a funeral home at 11 to discuss bringing Jessica home.
1025 (local): We will be declining all interviews today in hopes that the media will grant the other victims of this tragedy the same amount of airtime that they gave Jessica yesterday. Let us learn the stories, and celebrate the lives, of Alex Sullivan (27), Micayla Medek (23), Veronica Moser (6), Matt McQuinn (27), Jesse Childress (29), John Larimer (27), John Blunk, AJ Boik, Alexander Teves, and Rebecca Ann Wingo.
1215 (local): Jessica will be released from the coroner’s office on Monday. We are having her cremated in Denver and will fly her remains back home. I am expecting this to be competed by Wednesday.
1330 (local): Just spoke with Brent’s mother. She states that Brent is currently in surgery and has been doing well with the exception of a low grade fever.
1420 (local): I can now confirm that we will be holding a memorial service for my sister in San Antonio on the 28th.
1700 (local): We now know all of the names of those killed. They are as follows:
Jessica Ghawi, 24
Air Force Staff Sgt. Jesse E. Childress, 29
Gordon W. Cowden, 51
John Blunk, 26
AJ Boik, 18
John Larimer USN, 27
Matt McQuinn, 27
Micayla Medek, 23
Veronica Moser-Sullivan, 6
Alex Sullivan, 27
Alexander Teves, 24
Rebecca Ann Wingo, 32
My thoughts are with you, your families, and the lives that you have all touched. I also want to thank the physicians at the area hospitals who are still caring for critically injured.
1925 (local): Spoke with Brent’s mom who states that he is out of surgery and doing well. He has additional surgeries scheduled in the upcoming week. He is staying strong and fighting on.
Day Three 7/22
1045 (local): Read the victim’s stories. Learn their names and celebrate their lives here.
1245 (local): Meeting with the other families. Their strength as individuals and a whole is amazing. The world has lost 12 amazing individuals.
1400 (local): I have had the honor to meet all 11 families. Their courage and strength, both individually and as a whole, can not be expressed in words.
1630 (local): I have met with White House Press Secretary Carney and now have his assurance that he will not speak the suspect’s name in the press. Keeping the focus on the victims.
1800 (local): Met with President Obama after he had sat down with the rest of the families. Not only was he there to express his condolences to them, but he wanted to learn who they were. He has offered any and all services to the families. President Obama sat down with Peter, Jacob, and I and immediately began talking about Jessica. He already knew about her and we made sure that he left knowing more. He has also provided assurance that he will not.mention the suspect’s name in the press.
1815 (local) Chief Mackey (another incredible man) with APD has provided us with an escort to see Brent at a neighboring hospital. Thank you APD.
1830 (local): Have met with Brent and his parents again. Brent was able to take his first steps since the shooting today. He is doing well and is slowly recovering. More surgeries are scheduled for this week. Hoping to have him transferred to San Antonio by the end of the week. If you would like to assist with offsetting his medical expenses, you can do so here.
Day Four 7/23
1320 (local): Jessica’s memorial service will be held this Saturday at Community Bible Church in San Antonio. Memorial starts at 10am. 2477 North Loop 1604 East, San Antonio TX 78232
We have now established the Official Jessica Redfield Sports Journalism Scholarship Fund. If you would like to donate, you can do so here. Please also remember that my sister is just one of eleven other victims.
Day Five 7/24
0800 (local): I met with my brothers and sisters of the Aurora Fire Department today. Specifically the first in units, Station #8 and Station #2. These men and women are heroes and are directly responsible for the proliferation of life within that theatre. Let us also remember that these brave men and women have taken part in a life altering event. I hope the community will continue to support them.
DR. Gboco, email@example.com I wanted to inform you of something. Okay, I currently live with my ex-boyfriend's mom because her husband and my ex moved to South Carolina. Well, you performed the love retrieval spell for me. I work 3rd shift and when I came home this morning, my ex's truck was in the driveway. I just got up and we chatted for a few minutes and he told me that he was moving back home. I just wanted to share this good news with you.
Your sister looks to be a very hard loss. Please hug your Mama from one who knows. I also lost my sister, it's a loss that never ends. They're supposed to be there for your life ... I'm so worry.
I am living in Seguin TX, I am so sorry for your loss as well as those that lost their lives. I am grateful to you and your family for updating us and also protecting us. Redfield will be greatly missed.
Your sister is an inspiration to journalism students everywhere. She will be missed. My thoughts and prayers are with you and the other 11 families and friends. Jessica has an amazing, loving brother in you.
As a member of the blogging community, your sister is missed and loved. We thank her for her honesty, heart, and humor. But most of all (and I can tell this from her smile in the video you posted), her light.
You are an amazing brother - strong and loving.
Your family, and the 11 other families, are in my prayers.
Ola, meu nome é Camila e sou do Brasil. Deixo essa mensagem apenas para dizer o quanto sinto pela perda irreparável que os familiares sofrem com um caso desse. Pessoas tão amadas que se foram de forma trágica. Que Deus os proteja, e que receba de braços abertos. E que principalmente cuide das famílias e amigos. Grande abraço.
We've read about how one "goes into the light," when the soul leaves the body. If its true, Jessie followed this warm, welcoming light and will forever be happy knowing she "made it happen." If she or I wanted something to occur, simple or complex, we knew it was in our hands. Hence, that was her motto,"Make it Happen." Whether it was day or night, we'd text eachother these words, knowing the other had something wicked in mind. I am grateful she graced me with her and her boyfriend's presence at Swig in San Antonio a few months ago. Her enthusiasm for life and being a good friend will forever remain vivid in my memories. Love, Courtney AKA Mama Bear
An Angelic Journalist
Written by Melinda Woods-Smallwood
When God called your daughter Jessica home, he was looking for one of his best
angels on Earth who could withstand any given test.
He was looking for someone to carry out a special mission he had in mind.
So, he went to Earth to search for the best sportscaster he could find.
He wanted someone whose wings appeared to be well-developed and strong.
For he knew their journey from Earth to Heaven would be very long.
He chose an ambitious sportscaster to give report on his team
of angels playing hockey in a heavenly rink.
Now, she’s broadcasting live in Heaven, where the streets are paved with gold.
It is a land of Milk and Honey, where she will never grow old.
He decided to take your daughter home from his chosen few
to make the land of Heaven more beautiful to view.
God only entrusted Jessica to you as an Earthly loan.
Then, he needed her in his vineyard, so he chose to call her home.
It may seem as if her time here on Earth was cut very short.
But, only Our Heavenly Father knows when it’s time for us to depart.
She now reside in the hearts of everyone she touched,
and knew you all cherished and loved her very much.
Try to reflect on the memories you once shared in happiness and love,
and know she’s forever with you loving you from above.
When painful thoughts of her come to mind throughout the course of each day;
try to replace it with those memorable times no one can take away.
Her beautiful red hair, calm spirit and other angelic characteristics she carried with grace,
and her outgoing vivacious smile that would light up a place.
Each time you look up towards Heaven and see a shiny star;
know it’s your daughter, Jessica loving you from afar.
If sadness becomes unbearable and you’re dealing with despair;
just fall down on your knees and go to God in prayer.
He will give you comfort and strength to carry you through;
and even help you understand why He did what he had to do.
Even though, she is gone, it is not the end.
She’s just waiting on the other side to see you all again.
In Loving Memory of
Jessica (Redfield) Ghawi
I am so very sorry for your loss. Thank you for talking about your sister Jessica and letting us hear her story and also to make sure everyone focuses on all the victims of this senseless and horrible tragedy. My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family as well as with the other victims and their families. Sending lots of love and hugs.
One of many blessed survivors: meet her O:-) http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2177993/Woman-shot-head-Aurora-attack-SURVIVED-rare-brain-defect-didnt-know-had.html?ICO=most_read_module
My family and i are so very sorry for you and your family's loss along with all the other victims families! Prayers will be sent up for everyone daily! PLEASE let me know of a way to help! Love, hugs and many prayers
Anderson Cooper did a fantastic job introducing us to each and every person who lost their lives too soon from those.... and WITHOUT uttering any names but theirs. http://ac360.blogs.cnn.com/2012/07/23/tonight-on-ac360-honoring-the-colorado-shooting-victims/?on.cnn=1&hpt=ac_mid
I am so sorry for your loss! You are doing a great job getting your sisters and the other victims names and stories out there. Im sure your sister and everyone else is very proud of you! My thoughts are with you and everyone else effected! <3
I am very sorry for your loss. I didn't know your sister Jessica but now I will not forget her. From all that I have come to learn about her over the past few days, leaves no doubt to me of how special a person she was. The same is true about all the other victims of this tragedy. Thank you for keeping the focus on them by not only sharing Jessica's story but that of other victims too. Thoughts and prayers from CT for Jessica and all the victims, their families, friends and everyone touched by this event. We will always remember!!!
support and eat lunch @ Red Robin as they in turn give back to not only help 8 of their own and families affected by theater night. they even gave food and helped fly family members to CO. http://m.havasunews.com/articles/2012/07/23/news/doc500cf089c14ff938075061.txt
Sometime late Thursday, Alex Sullivan posted on his Facebook page: ''Â‚TheDarkKnightRises OMG COUNTING down till it start cant wait going to be the best birthday ever."Sullivan died on his 27th birthday. He and co-workers from a Red Robin restaurant had gone to the premiere. Sullivan was killed, and seven co-workers were injured.Sunday would have been Sullivan's one-year wedding anniversary. Recently, he wrote on his Facebook page: ''Just took the wife to DIA going to be gone for 3 and a half weeks going to miss her a lot. I love you cassie."Cassandra Sullivan returned home Wednesday.The morning of the shooting, Alex Sullivan's father, Tom, showed his picture around andAlex Sullivan ( | )asked if anybody had seen his son, an image that reminded some of 9/11 and grieving people amid that tragedy.Friends on Saturday talked about the big-hearted, good-humored guy they knew.Derek Smith, who worked with Sullivan at Red Robin on South Havana Street, said the two were movie buffs."In 'Animal House,' there's a part when they go to the bar and one of the guys screams across the bar, 'Hey, Otis!' '' Smith said. ''When I walked in, it was always, 'Hey, Otis!' No one knew what it meant, but because we're both into movies we got a kick out of it."Ah, man, I'm going to miss that dude, I really am," Smith said, his eyes welling with tears.Bryan Beard first met Sullivan during their freshman year at Grandview High School.
I'm very sorry for your loss. Jessica seemed like a bright amazing young woman with a lot more to give. Her life will leave an imprint on our hearts and no one will forget her name. I wrote about her and one other victim on my blog. I want to let everyone know that what is more important are the victims in this tragedy and stop talking about the one who caused it. He should not be named... only Jessica, Alex, Gordon, John B, Veronica, Rebecca, Alexander, Cayla, Matt, AJ, Jesse and John L. We should celebrate there life and give others what they gave us. God Bless and you are all in my prayers!
I've been reading your blog from Islamabad, Pakistan with a heavy heart. I went to school in Toronto and spent many a day at the Eaton court. I read your sister's blog on what happened that day in Toronto and wanted to reach out and give her a big hug. What happened to her and the other victims in Denver is absolutely horrible, and I just wanted you to know that all of you are in my prayers today and every day. RIP Jessica. God bless you all, his light will see you through.
am reading your blog from singapore, looking in on my home state of colorado and feeling a heavy heart for you, your family and all those who have been affected. thank you for your courage to share with the rest of the world the events that have taken place..letting us in a very small way try to ease your pain through our humble prayers... am so sorry for the loss of your dear sister. sending love, light and strength to you and all those touched by this horrific tragedy.
I'm continuing to read your blog and am amazed at your courage and the love for your sister which is so obviously demonstrated throughout this blog. You are amazing. I will keep you and your family, as well as the other 11 families in my continued thoughts and prayers.
My thoughts and prayers are with you & your family Jordan, as well as the other families of the victims and the surviving victims! We will never forget! <3
In honoring Alex "Sully" Sullivan, I pray his re-Birthday into a better place away from evil and heartache will remind his loved ones-esp his Mom & Dad and young wife that he was so loved and cherished and did breathe his last breath surrounded by such love celebrating HIM!! Just know he got to cross into more love awaiting him and please f all of you who feel "left behind" just revel a bit realizing love does exist FOREVER and are beloved family and friends NEVER LEAVE US...
Part 2 Honoring Jonathan Blunk, 26: This man LIVED ALOT in 26 short yrs!!! Blunk was a certified firefighter, emergency medical technician and a veteran of the United States Navy who served three tours in the Persian Gulf and North Arabian Sea between 2004 and 2009. He also was a father of two small children.Read more: http://www.foxnews.com/us/2012/07/22/friends-family-remember-colorado-massacre-victims/#ixzz21QihgCnq
Honoring AJ Boik O:-) http://m.youtube.com/#/watch?desktop_uri=%2Fwatch%3Fv%3D0-yrVgQMTZk%26feature%3Dyoutu.be&feature=youtu.be&v=0-yrVgQMTZk&gl=US AURORA, Colo--Hundreds of people gathered in the Gateway High School baseball field Saturday evening to remember 18-year-0ld A.J. Boik, a recent graduate and an aspiring art teacher. The school is just a mile away from the movie theater where Boik and 11 others were killed at a midnight showing of "The Dark Night Rises" on Friday.Boik's girlfriend, Lasamoa Cross, was with him at the theater when he was shot, according to a statement from the Boik family. Cross, a student at the University of Colorado, told the crowd of mourners on Saturday that the pair had been secretly engaged."A lot of people didn't know we were engaged," she said. "We didn't want to disrespect our parents, being so young and crazy and in love."[COMPLETE COVERAGE: Colorado theater shooting]"I look at it now and I think we were going to have everything," she said. Cross added that she would still be able to have everything because Boik lives on in her memory and in the hearts of everyone who knew him.Several of Boik's friends shared stories about the teen's fondness for goofy dancing and quick sense of humor. He was remembered as "the life of the party" and a good, kind friend who was determined to make everyone around him smile. Boik was planning on attending Rocky Mountain College of Art and Design in the fall.Boik's mother fought back tears as she thanked the crowd for coming. "Please just pray for us and thank you," she said.Several people passed out balloons in purple--Boik's favorite color--and then the mourners released them all at once. "We love you, A.J.," Cross said as the balloons drifted away.
http://photos.mercurynews.com/2012/07/21/photo-gallery-colorado-movie-theater-shooting-victims-identified/ For Jansen Young, 21, the two constants during the movie-theatre massacre that ended 12 lives were the sound of gunshots and the feeling of her boyfriend Jon Blunk's hands on her back.Blunk, 26, was shot to death while protecting Young, according to NBC News.Young declined to discuss details of the shooting with The Denver Post, saying she was ''trying to work through it."When asked whether Blunk had shielded her from gunfire, she replied: ''Yes, he did."Young told NBC News that when the shooter started his attack, Blunk knew to throw her to the floor.On the movie-theater floor, Blunk kept pushing her with his arms as she heard shots being fired.She eventually noticedJansen Young and Jon Blunk (Handout)that he had stopped pushing her under the seat, but she didn't think he had been killed."I guess I didn't really know he had passed, up until I started shaking him and saying, 'Jon, Jon, we have to go. Ã¢euro It's time for us to get out of here,' '' she said, her voice trembling.Young said she tried to get up and lift Blunk by the shoulder but he didn't move. The couple had been dating since October, she told NBC.Blunk's estranged wife, Chantel Blunk, who lives in Reno, Nev., with their two children -- a 4-year-old girl and a 2-year-old boy -- told NBC News that she was notified of his death by the FBI."He always talked about if he were going to die, he wanted to die a hero," she said.JonAdvertisementBlunk went to Proctor Hug High School in Reno, where he and Chantel met.After his 2004 high school graduation, he enlisted in the Navy and served aboard the USS Nimitz in San Diego.Blunk left the Navy, separated from his wife and moved to Colorado in 2009. He had been working at a hardware store at the time of the theater shooting.Chantel Blunk told NBC that she plans to bury her husband with military honors in Reno. She set up a Wells Fargo account to raise funds for his funeral.
Jordan, my thoughts and prayers are with you in this difficult time. Thank you very much for sharing Jessica's story. I smile each time I see her interview on the ice right before she goes down laughing. And the smile she has holding (I'm assuming) her dog is so infectious. She was such a beautiful spirit...as were the other 11 that were taken. You are truly an amazing person how you have remained so composed and strong as you focus on Jessica, the others who lost their lives and the survivors. It has been inspiring and humbling to hear and read the tales of heroics, of love and compassion. Thank you again for sharing Jessica's story. May God bless.
DENVER -- Rebecca Ann Wingo had started a job several months ago as a customer relations representative at a mobile medical imaging company. She was 32.Shannon Dominguez, who worked with Wingo on weekends, said she was friendly with everyone and always seemed to be in a good mood."I didn't really know her well, but she had a really bubbly personality," Dominguez said. "She was a pretty happy person. She just never really seemed ... like with work, she never got irritated. She was pretty happy to be here."Wingo was a mother of two. She had worked at Joe's Crab Shack in Aurora but had recently gotten a job at Schryver Medical.Wingo grew up in Quinlan, Texas, about 65 miles east of Dallas. Her friends told WFAA-TV she was funny and always cracking jokes.Wingo left Quinlan to joined the Air Force, where she became fluent in Mandarin Chinese, and served as a translator.She moved to Colorado with her two little girls and reconnected with her high school friends on Facebook.In her last post, Wingo talked about her daughters, she wrote:”My little baby started kindergarten today. She is so excited to be in the big girl school with her sister. Oh how the time flies."
McQuinn, a native of Springfield, Ohio, near Dayton, had moved to Denver in September with Yowler, 27, of St. Paris, Ohio, and both worked at a Target store, Scott said in a telephone interview from Dayton. They were at the theater with Samantha’s brother, Nick, who had moved to Colorado from Ohio eight years ago, Scott said.McQuinn was shot in the chest, leg and back, Scott said. Samantha Yowler was shot in the leg and is recovering from surgery, and her brother was not hurt, he said.Relatives, who are declining to be interviewed, recall Quinn as kind and quiet, Scott said. McQuinn and Yowler had been dating for three years, and the Yowlers thought of McQuinn as part of their family, he said.“Samantha and her family consider Matt a hero for protecting her,” Scott said. Chris Jackson, who identified himself as McQuinn’s brother, wrote on Facebook: “Thank you to all who showed concern and prayed for my brother and Sam. Sadly it was confirmed that he was still in the theater. He covered Sam with his body and died a hero.”
AURORA, Colo. -- Greg and Rena Medek sat in their living room Saturday, surrounded by flowers and pictures of their late daughter, Micayla.At 23, she was working at Subway and saving money to travel to India, where some of her co-workers were from, they said. She had taken a few community college classes but refused help, insisting on paying her own way. After she moved into her own apartment, her father pestered her to move back in, but she held her own.She was the youngest of three, but independent, responsible.After Medek went missing, her parents waited for news all day Friday -- torture for Greg Medek, 49, who paced the house thinking about his baby, "my sweetheart angel girl," a brown-eyed brunet with an open face who loved Hello Kitty, hot pink, fairies and boas andBeanie Babies.
Went to the vigil tonight. Came home to see you upstairs on the balcony. Feels like an honor to be able to say hello. Can't imagine what you are going through. Bless you!
I have remained glued to the television and my computer throughout this tragedy. Even though we have never met, and you have no idea who I am, I somehow felt that tuning in and reading your updates was still a way that we could support you somehow. Your strength is such a testimony and has spoken volumes to the world. I pray that you and your family find peace and comfort. Somehow, given the leader that you have proven yourself to be, I feel that you will be used in a mighty way to bring about something good connected with this terrible tragedy. I think that I speak for all of us on this board when I say that we are willing to support you in any way that we can. I wish you the best of luck and will continue to keep you and your family uplifted in prayer. May God Bless you!
Former Austinite among Aurora victims Cowden among the dozen killed in shooting spree Updated: Sunday, 22 Jul 2012, 6:26 PM CDTPublished : Saturday, 21 Jul 2012, 9:56 PM CDTAUSTIN (KXAN) - A former Austinite is among the victims in the mass shooting spree at an Aurora movie theater on Thursday night.According to a statement from the family, Gordon Cowden, 51, had taken his two teenage children to see Dark Knight Rises at a midnight showing at the Century 16 in a suburban Denver theater."The family of Gordon Cowden wishes to express appreciation for the concern and prayers offered us during this very difficult time," according to the statement released by the family on Saturday. "Our hearts go out to everyone that has been harmed by this senseless tragedy."Cowden was the oldest of the dozen shooting victims identified so far. The family's statement described the former Austinite as a loving father, outdoorsman and small business owner."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, no matter the obstacle," according to a family spokesman.Cowden's father is local attorney and former state lawmaker George Malcolm Cowden.
My sincere condolences to you, your family and the families of the ones that were lost in this tragedy. I thank you for taking on your new role and also sharing your journey with us. Honoring Jessica and the victims while in so much pain takes a lot of courage and strength. Please know that you are appreciated and that you are an amazing brother and Jessica would be so proud of you! Thinking of you, Jessica and the others...we will keep them in our hearts! Stay strong!
An Air Force sergeant who died trying to protect a friend in Friday's mass shooting at a Colorado movie theater was from the Palmdale area, friends said this weekend.Staff Sgt. Jesse Childress, who was stationed in the town of Aurora, where the massacre took place, had gone to the midnight showing of the film, "The Dark Knight Rises," with two other service members.When the alleged shooter, James Holmes, opened fire, Childress threw himself in front of one friend, an act she said saved her life.Childress was one of 12 people killed and 58 injured in the shooting. He was 29."It’s shocking," said William Grier, a neighbor and friend, in an interview at the home of Childress' parents in Lake Los Angeles. "He was a quiet, nice young guy. It’s really horrible for a nice person to die like that."Grier remembered Childress fondly."We all kind of grew up together because it’s a small city and we came over here every day," an emotional Grier said. "We played football in the front yard. We all just hung out." According to the Denver Post, Childress attended "The Dark Knight Rises" with colleagues from the Buckley Air Force Base in Aurora."He was a fun-loving individual," Sgt. Alejandro Sanchez told the Associated Press. "If you needed help, no matter the time of day he would stay late. He would come in early to help out the unit in any way he can, even if it meant long hours."The family could not be reached for comment at the time of this report."I feel pain and agony for the family," Grier said. "My heart goes out to them." A cyber systems operator for the Air Force, Childress was on active duty orders in the 310th Force Support Squadron.He worked as a Cyber Systems Operation Technician at Buckley and joined the Air Force Reserves after serving in the Army. Childress was one of two servicemen killed in the shooting. The other was John Larimer, 27, of Crystal Lake, Ill.Both will be laid to rest with full military honors."I love you man, you were like a brother to us all," Grier said of Childress. "It’s sad that that happened. It’s crazy."
My heart breaks for you and the other 11 families. My love goes out to each and one of you. You are not alone.
I cannot begin to imagine what yours and 11 other families are going through at the moment, as well as all of those injured.
I can only read and honour your strength and commitment to ensure the names of the innocent are the only names on people's lips. I for one will always remember Jessica's name now and Brent - My love to him and his family too - I do hope the media take notice and give more air-time to the memories of the victims than they do to the suspect.
May Jessica live on in the hearts of all who knew her (and thanks to you, many that did not) and know that there are millions of people world-wide thinking of you all xxx
With much love and heartfelt sorrow from South Wales, UK.
My heartfelt condolences - may I offer my prayers for you, your dear sister, your family as well as all the other victims and their families. My daughter is just 6 days younger than your sister and I cannot imagine losing her - especially at the movies. Bless you, stay strong.
I am so deeply sorry for the loss of Jessica. You are a great brother, and person. I will keep Jessica, you, your family, and all of the victims and their families in my prayers.
Jordan, I'm so so sorry for your loss, I can't imagine your pain now, i have experienced the loss of some familiars and friends, yet, i haven't lost a sister, I'll pray for you , your family and sisterHope you can feel fine soonI might be living in another country, but i want you to know, i'm supporting you.
Honoring John Larimer: O:-) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eVNfq8TsT50&feature=youtube_gdata_player
Honoring John Larimer O:-) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eVNfq8TsT50&feature=youtube_gdata_player
Jordan, I can not imagine the loss which you and your family are experiencing right now. I only hope that the love, prayers, heartfelt respect and sorrow that are coming through the words from us all here can provide at least some level of comfort to you all right now. Condolences from your friends in Australia and god bless!
By Kate Snow, NBC NewsWhen Ashley Moser took her 6-year-old daughter to see the midnight showing of the latest Batman movie on Thursday, it was supposed to be a time to unwind after months of hardship.Until recently, Moser and her only child, Veronica Moser-Sullivan, lived with Moser's father -- Veronica's grandfather -- David Moser. They were a tight-knit family. But eight weeks ago, David Moser, 65, died after a 10-month battle with leukemia.Moser's father’s death crushed her, said her aunt, Annie Dalton.“She was close with him,” Dalton said.Dalton said her father’s illness also drained family resources; David Moser was penniless when he died, she said.Ashley Moser and her little girl then moved in with an uncle, where they were living when they headed out for the AMC Theater Century 16 in Aurora, Colo., a suburb of Denver. At 25, Moser had not had an easy life, her aunt said."Ashley struggled a lot," Dalton said.But Moser was getting her life in order, Dalton said. She had taken classes to enter a nursing program, her goal being to earn a degree as a licensed practical nurse – the kind of nurse who cares for the sick, injured or disabled. Moser had been accepted into a nursing program and was living off student loan money because she wasn’t employed, Dalton said.Veronica, Dalton said, was a typical 6-year-old."She loved school, loved playing," she said. She had just started swimming lessons at a local recreation center, which she enjoyed. She was to start first grade in the fall.But then came the early hours of Friday... Moser caught a bullet to the neck. Dalton said she is paralyzed.