Lives of the deceased victims in Colorado come into focus

Authorities release victims' names after Colorado tragedy
2012-07-22T00:00:00Z 2012-07-22T14:33:30Z Lives of the deceased victims in Colorado come into focusThe Associated Press The Associated Press
July 22, 2012 12:00 am  • 

AURORA, Colo. - Ashley Moser drifted in and out of consciousness in the ICU, a bullet in her throat and a gunshot wound to her abdomen. In her waking moments, she called for her 6-year-old daughter, Veronica.

Nobody had the heart to tell the 25-year-old mother that Veronica was already dead, the youngest victim killed at a Colorado movie theater in one of the worst mass shootings in U.S. history.

"All she's asking about, of course, is her daughter," said Annie Dalton, Ashley's aunt.

The little girl was among those who died when a gunman barged into a crowded theater in a Denver suburb, set off gas canisters and opened fire, killing 12 people and wounding 58.

Colorado authorities Saturday released the names of the victims killed in the rampage. There were eight men, three women and Veronica Moser-Sullivan, the youngest slain. Gordon Cowden, 51, was the oldest.

One of the 12, Matthew McQuinn, has been tentatively identified and is awaiting final identification, though his family's attorney confirmed to The Associated Press that McQuinn was among those killed.

Rob Scott of Dayton, Ohio, said McQuinn died after diving in front of his girlfriend and her older brother to shield them from the gunfire.

His girlfriend, Samantha Yowler, was in fair condition after being shot in the knee. Her brother, Nick, was not injured.

For Alex Sullivan, it was to be a weekend of fun: He planned to ring in his 27th birthday with friends at the special midnight showing of "The Dark Knight Rises" and then celebrate his first wedding anniversary today.

Late Friday, Sullivan's family confirmed that police told them he was among those killed.

"He was a very, very good young man," said Sullivan's uncle, Joe Loewenguth. "He always had a smile, always made you laugh.."

Micayla Medek, 23, also was killed.

Her father's cousin, Anita Busch, told the Associated Press that the news, while heartbreaking, was a relief for the family after an agonizing day.

"You can't go that long without knowing," she said.

Navy cryptologist John Larimer went to the theater with three other sailors, Navy Cmdr. Jeffrey Jakuboski said. Larimer was shot and killed, and Jakuboski said losing Larimer felt like losing "one of my sons."

"Losing a sailor, whether it's in combat or whether it's in a horrific domestic situation like this, it's hard. It's tough," he said.

Larimer's family said his brother is working with the Navy to take his body home to Crystal Lake, Ill.

An Air Force reservist who worked at nearby Buckley Air Force Base also was killed. Sgt. Jesse Childress, 29, was a cyber-systems operator from Thornton, Colo., said Air Force Capt. Andrew Williams. Williams described Childress as knowledgeable, experienced and respectful.

A vigil was to be held last night for Alexander J. Boik of Aurora. His family said he was loved by all who knew him

After graduating from high school in Reno, Nev., victim Jonathan Blunk, 26, of Aurora, Colo., served in the Navy between 2004 and 2009 and most recently worked at a hardware store, according to close friend James Gill of Brighton, Colo.

Blunk had plans to re-enlist with a goal of becoming a Navy SEAL, said Gill, who described his friend as an avid outdoorsman and gun-rights advocate.

"Pretty much every weapon the guy in the theater used, he owned," Gill said. "If you asked, if he was still alive, he would have said his only regret is he didn't have his sidearm with him and he couldn't do anything to stop him."

Victim Rebecca Ann Wingo, 32, was a customer-relations representative at a mobile medical-imaging company. 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.

Alexander C. Teves, 24, graduated in June from the University of Denver with a master's degree in counseling psychology. The university identified Teves' hometown as Phoenix.

An aspiring sports reporter who recently wrote a blog post about surviving a Toronto shooting was killed, the woman's brother said.

The death of Jessica Ghawi, was a "complete and utter shock," said her brother, Jordan.

Jessica, 24, moved to Denver from Texas about a year ago, and friends and colleagues described her as outgoing, smart and witty.

Jessica wrote of the Toronto shooting: "I was shown how fragile life was. 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."

The victims

Twelve people who died in the Colorado movie shooting have been identified by the Arapahoe County coroner.

• Jessica Ghawi, 24, of Denver; aspiring sports journalist.

• Veronica Moser-Sullivan, 6, whose mother was critically injured.

• Matt McQuinn, 27, of Denver, technical support provider.

• Alex Sullivan, 27, of Aurora; worked at Red Robin restaurant.

• Micayla Medek, 23, of Westminster, Colo.

• John Larimer, 27, of Buckley Air Force Base, Navy cryptologist.

• Jesse Childress, 29, of Thornton, Colo., Air Force cyber-systems operator.

• Gordon W. Cowden, 51.

• Jonathan T. Blunk, 26, of Aurora, worked at a hardware store, served five years in the Navy.

• Rebecca Ann Wingo, 32, customer-relations representative at a mobile medical-imaging company.

• Alexander C. Teves, 24, of Phoenix, earned master's degree in counseling psychology in June from University of Denver.

• Alexander J. Boik, 18, incoming freshman student at Rocky Mountain College of Art and Design.

Source: The Associated Press

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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