Tags: Colorado | shooting | Batman | victims

Two Military Victims Among Batman Shooting Dead

Saturday, 21 July 2012 06:51 PM

They included a 6-year-old who just learned to swim, an Ohio native who saved his girlfriend’s life, an Air Force staff sergeant, a sailor and an aspiring sports journalist.

More details emerged today about the 12 people who died after police say James Eagan Holmes, 24, opened fire at a midnight premiere in Aurora, Colorado, of “The Dark Knight Rises.” Fifty-eight were injured in the attack near Denver.

Annie Dalton confirmed that her great niece, Veronica Moser died at the Aurora Town Center, where all four showings of the third in the Batman trilogy were sold out.

“She was a wonderful 6-year-old girl — proud that she learned how to swim this summer,” Dalton said in a telephone interview. “She loved to go to school, loved her grandpa who just passed away recently — that was hard for her.”

Veronica’s mother, Ashley Moser, 25, is in critical condition with bullets in the throat and abdomen, said Dalton, who is Ashley’s aunt.

Matt McQuinn and Samantha Yowler (Facebook)

One victim, Matt McQuinn, 27, died after shielding his girlfriend, Samantha Yowler, from the gunfire, said Rob Scott, an attorney speaking for the two families.

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.”

John Larimer (Family Photo)

Petty Officer Third Class John Larimer, 27, died from his injuries, the Navy said. Larimer, who was from Crystal Lake, Ill., was a cryptologic technician who joined on June 16, 2011, the Navy said.

Three Navy officers left the home of the Larimer family, a white frame structure with an American flag flying from an attached garage, about 12:20 p.m. local time. They didn’t comment to reporters gathered outside the suburban northeast Chicago home where Larimer grew up. A man identifying himself as Larimer’s father told reporters, “Give us some time.”

A neighbor, Chris Gates, said he recalls Larimer giving his daughter “a big tip when she set up a lemonade stand.

‘‘He just seemed like a really nice kid,’’ said Gates, a speech therapist. ‘‘Here he was in the military, putting his life on the line for his country, and he died during something that shouldn’t have happened. The way he died is not fair to him and not fair to our country.’’

Alex Sullivan (Family Photo)

Alex Sullivan, was celebrating his 27th birthday. He tweeted ‘‘oh man one hour till the movie and it’s going to be the best BIRTHDAY ever’’ before the movie began, was reported to be among the dead. Yesterday, a reply to Sullivan’s tweet from a Colorado-based film review group known as Reel Nerds read, ‘‘Oh man, check in Sully. Please let this search have a happy ending!’’ The group followed up with a blog post confirming Sullivan’s death.

Tom Sullivan, his father, came to Gateway High School yesterday, where moviegoers were taken to talk with police after the shooting, holding a picture of Alex.

‘‘Find my son,’’ he yelled from the parking lot at the high school.

Jessica Ghawi (Twitter)

Aspiring sports journalist Jessica Ghawi, also known as Jessica Redfield, was identified by friends and her brother Jordan Ghawi in Twitter and blog posts as being among the dead. Ghawi survived a shooting in the food court at Toronto Eaton Centre on June 2. She wrote a blog post about her premonition that she should have left the area of that shooting quickly.

‘‘My receipt shows my purchase was made at 6:20 pm. After that purchase I said I felt funny,’’ Ghawi wrote on her blog ‘‘A Run On of Thoughts,’’ on June 5. ‘‘A feeling that was overwhelming enough to lead me to head outside in the rain to get fresh air instead of continuing back into the food court to go shopping at SportChek. The gunshots rang out at 6:23. Had I not gone outside, I would’ve been in the midst of gunfire.’’

Rebecca Wingo (Facebook)

Also among the dead were Air Force Staff Sgt. Jesse Childress, who was assigned to Buckley Air Force Base, said Lt. Col. Jack Miller, a Pentagon spokesman. Jonathan Blunk, 26, was a Navy vet who served three tours of duty between 2004 and 2009, said Navy spokesman Lt. Cmdr. Chris Servello.

Micayla Medek, 23, who attended the Community College of Aurora and worked at Subway, according to her Facebook page, was also slain, the Denver Post reported.

The Arapahoe County Coroner's Office on Saturday named the others killed as Alexander Boik, 18, Rebecca  Wingo, 32, Gordon Cowden, 51, and Alexander Teves, 24.

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