On behalf of the SevenPonds team, we share these emerging facts and the sympathies of those around the country.
James Eagan Holmes was seen in public Monday for the first time since his arrest following the deadly shootings at a midnight screening of “The Dark Knight Rises” last Friday. He appeared in court and was held without bond, though not yet formally charged for his alleged killing of 12 people and injuring 58 others in the now-infamous theater shooting in Aurora, Colorado.
Relatives of some of the victims were present for the hearing, forming unexpected connections in the wake of the tragedy. ABC noted one touching moment before the hearing, when a female relative of a victim approached a male relative of another, whom she presumably didn’t know beforehand, and introduced herself. The two embraced each other in a long hug, expressing the pain and offering the comfort that Americans across the country share this week.
At vigils and services over the weekend, Aurora residents gathered to pay their respects to the victims and show their support for survivors.
Who was lost?
A reported 12 people have died from the shooting, with 58 others injured, 26 of whom remain hospitalized, with 9 in critical condition, reports NBC.
The names of the victims began to emerge over the weekend. We offer our deepest condolences to the families and pay our greatest respects to the lives lost, with the hopes that no more will follow.
The youngest of those killed at the theater shooting was 6-year-old Veronica Moser-Sullivan of Denver. Her mother, 25-year-old Ashley Moser, drifted in and out of consciousness with wounds to her throat and abdomen, but survived her daughter. Doctors predict Ashley will be left paralyzed but for limited use of her hands. She had planned to attend nursing school in the fall.
Matt McQuinn of Denver has been tentatively identified and is awaiting final identification, but the Associated Press has received other confirmation that the 27-year-old is among those lost. He died after diving in front of his girlfriend and her brother to shield them from the shooter.
23-year-old Micayla Medek was working in food service and “trying to figure out what to do with her life,” according to her aunt.
Comic-book fan Alex Sullivan was celebrating his 27th birthday on Friday. His final Tweet, expressing his excitement for the movie, shows the ironic blow of the tragedy for moviegoers.
Families of two members of the armed forces, Petty Officer 3rd Class John Larimer (27) and Air Force Staff Sgt. Jesse Childress (29), were shocked to lose the men this way. “Unfortunately in the military you expect him to be in harm’s way, but not in a theater,” said Larimer’s father.
Rebecca Ann Wingo“I lost my daughter yesterday to a mad man, my grief right now is inconsolable, I hear she died instantly, without pain, however the pain is unbearable.”
18-year-old Alexander J. Boik was at the theater with the young woman he was dating, whom his parents called “a beautiful young lady.” She survived the shooting. Boik was set to begin studies at the Rocky Mountain College of Art and Design this Fall.
24-year-old Jessica Ghawi was a sports journalist who blogged under the alias “Jessica Redfield.” In June, she narrowly escaped the Eaton Center Mall shooting in Toronto, which she blogged about shortly after:
I can’t get this odd feeling out of my chest. This empty, almost sickening feeling won’t go away. I noticed this feeling when I was in the Eaton Center in Toronto just seconds before someone opened fire in the food court. An odd feeling which led me to go outside and unknowingly out of harm‘s way. It’s hard for me to wrap my mind around how a weird feeling saved me from being in the middle of a deadly shooting. (Read the full post)
Jonathon T. Blunk attended the movie with a friend, Jansen Young, who credited the 26-year-old Aurora resident with saving her life. “He always talked about if he were going to die, he wanted to die a hero,” his estranged wife, Chantel Blunk, told NBC News. Besides his wife, Blunk is survived by a 2-year-old son and a 4-year-old daughter.
The oldest to die in the shooting was Aurora small-business owner Gordon W. Cowden, 51. He was a father of four.
Alexander C. Teves, 24, graduated in June with a master’s degree in counseling psychology in June from the Morgridge College of Education, reported the University of Denver.
Names and backgrounds of the victims as reported by NBC and Tampa Bay Times (via Associated Press).
If you are seeking solace after this tragedy: