John Larimer, 27, was a Navy sailor based at Buckley Air Force Base, where he was a cryptologic technician – a job that the Navy says on its website should be filled by someone with “exceptionally good character, above-average writing and speaking skills, a good memory, curiosity and resourcefulness.”
Those who knew him described him in similar terms.
Mr. Larimer, who grew up in the Chicago suburb of Crystal Lake, joined the service just over a year ago, the Navy said.
“A valued member of our Navy team, he will be missed by all who knew him. My heart goes out to John's family, friends and loved ones, as well as to all the victims of this horrible tragedy,” said Commander Jeffrey Jakuboski, his commanding officer, in a written statement.
A family member told the Daily Herald newspaper in Arlington Heights, Ill., that Mr. Larimer was the youngest of five siblings. Neighbours in his hometown recalled his sense of humour.
“We love you, John, and we will miss you always,” his parents said in a statement. (Larimer family/AP)
Jessica Ghawi recently wrote a blog post after surviving a shooting at the Toronto Eaton Centre, saying it showed her “how fragile life was.”
Friends say the 24-year-old, who moved to Colorado from Texas about a year ago, didn’t let the June 2 shooting in Toronto change her outlook on life as she pursued a career in sports journalism.
“I think she even looked at that like, `Hey, even after that, I’m able to pursue my dream,” said Peter Burns, a radio sports show host with Mile High Sports Radio in Denver, where Ms. Ghawi recently interned.
That shooting left two dead and several injured. Her blog post last month said: “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. When or where we will breathe our last breath.”
Former colleagues described her as ambitious and hard working. She went by the name “Redfield,” a play on her red hair, because it was easy to say and remember, both professionally and on her social media accounts.
She was a regular tweeter and her last post to the micro-blogging website stated in all capital letters, “movie doesn't start for 20 minutes.” (Uncredited/AP)
Alexander J. Boik, known as AJ, recently graduated from high school and was to start classes at the Rocky Mountain College of Art and Design in the fall, The Denver Post reported.
The family said in a statement that the 18-year-old was loved by all who knew him and was dating “a beautiful young lady” who was with him at the theatre and survived. “We want to try and focus on the beautiful lives that were ended and not the evil that is responsible,” the family said.
A friend, Jordan Crofter, described Mr. Boik as someone who “didn’t hold anything back. He was just his own person.”
“He was a ball of joy. He was never sad or depressed. He wanted everybody to be happy,” Mr. Crofter told The Associated Press.
Mr. Crofter said Mr. Boik played baseball from when he was a child through his junior year in high school.
He said Mr. Boik and his girlfriend were the “perfect couple” and people expected them to get married.
“If he were still here, he'd try to make everyone have a positive outlook of the situation and not allow it to affect their outlook of life,” Mr. Crofter said. (Ted S. Warren/AP)
Jesse Childress was an Air Force cyber-systems operator based at Buckley Air
Force Base, Colo.
Air Force Captain Andrew Williams described the 29-year-old from Thornton,
Colo., as knowledgeable, experienced and respectful. “We're going to miss him
incredibly,” he said.
Tech Sergeant Alejandro Sanchez, a co-worker, told the AP that Mr. Childress
was his good friend and they were on a bowling team together.
“He would help anyone and always was great for our Air Force unit,” he
Another co-worker, Ashley Wassinger, said Childress “was a great person fun
to be with, always positive and laughing.”
“Really just an amazing person, and I am so lucky to have been his friend,”
she said. (AP)
Gordon Cowden loved life and his family, and he had gone to the midnight movie premiere with his two teenage children.
At 51, he was the oldest of the victims killed in the shooting. He lived in Aurora, but was described as a “true Texas gentleman” in a family statement. He loved the outdoors and owned his own business.
“A quick witted world traveller with a keen sense of humour, 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,” his family said.
His teenage children escaped the shooting unharmed.
His family declined to be interviewed in their request for privacy, but expressed appreciation for words of concern offered in the wake of the shooting.
“Our hearts go out to everyone that has been harmed by this senseless tragedy,” they said. (AP)
The death of 23-year-old Micayla Medek was heartbreaking, said her father’s cousin, Anita Busch.
But Ms. Busch said the news also was a relief for the family after an agonizing day of waiting.
“I hope this evil act ... doesn’t shake people’s faith in God,” she said.
Micayla Medek lived in the Denver suburb of Westminster and attended Aurora Community College.
Her aunt, Jenny Zakovich, 57, of South Milwaukee, Wis., said Ms. Medek and her father were both huge Green Bay Packers fans. (AP)
Alex Sullivan's family called him “their real life super hero,” and he was at The Dark Knight Rises premiere celebrating his 27th birthday and his first wedding anniversary.
“Alex was a gentle giant, known and loved by so many. He always had a glowing smile on his face and he made friends with everyone. Alex enjoyed all sorts of movies, was an avid comic book geek and loved the New York Mets,” the family said in a statement.
Mr. Sullivan had a warm smile and an innocence that endeared him to people, said Shelly Fradkin, whose son Brian was good friends with Mr. Sullivan.
She sat next to a makeshift memorial Friday near the theatre where an oversized birthday card with a photo of a smiling Mr. Sullivan was displayed.
“He’s amazing. He was just a big teddy bear. Great hugs,” she said.
She said Mr. Sullivan was such a big movie fan that he took jobs at theatres just to see movies.
Ms. Fradkin and her son spent an “excruciating” day trying to find Mr. Sullivan before learning of his death, she said.
“We’re shocked. We’re numb. We’re sick,” she said. “Our hearts are broken, and we’re crushed.” (AP)
Jonathan Blunk had high hopes for the future, with plans to re-enlist in the
Navy and the goal of becoming a Navy SEAL. The 26-year-old served three tours in the Persian Gulf and North Arabian Sea between 2004 and 2009, said close friend James Gill of Brighton, Colo. “It was guts or glory for him,” Mr. Gill told The Associated Press. “It
always surprised me that he didn't serve in a situation more on the front line.
He wanted to be a first responder on the front line.” Mr. Blunk was also a certified firefighter and emergency medical technician,
Mr. Gill added. He died in the shooting Friday after throwing himself in front of friend
Jansen Young and saving her life, she told the Today Show. He told her to stay
“That's something he would do,” Mr. Gill said. “If he was going to choose a
way to die, that's how he wanted to go — defending someone from a (person) like
Mr. Blunk, a 2004 graduate of Reno's Hug High School in Nevada, most recently
worked at a hardware store.
His estranged wife, Chantel Blunk, lives with their 4-year-old daughter and
2-year-old son in Sparks, Nev. (AP)
As the attack in the movie theater unfolded, Matt McQuinn dove in front of
his girlfriend and her older brother to shield them from the gunfire.
He died protecting them, said Rob Scott, an Ohio attorney retained by the
families of Mr. McQuinn and his girlfriend, Samantha Yowler. Mr. Scott confirmed
Mr. McQuinn's death to The Associated Press on Saturday. He was 27.
“Unfortunately, Matt McQuinn perished from the injuries he sustained during
the tragic events that unfolded in Denver, Colorado, and went home to be with
his maker,” Mr. Scott said in a statement. “As both families mourn the loss of
Matt, they ask for everyone to give them distance and time. Again, the families
thank everyone for their love, prayers and ask that we respect their families'
Ms. Yowler was recovering from surgery after she was shot in the knee at the
theater. Her 32-year-old brother, Nick Yowler, who also shielded his sister, was
Mr. McQuinn and Ms. Yowler moved to Colorado from Ohio last fall. A Colorado
co-worker told the Springfield News-Sun that Mr .McQuinn and Ms. Samantha Yowler
worked with her at Target.
“They're really fun people. We always go out together,” said Melissa
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 Ms. 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,” Ms. 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.” (AP)
Alexander C. Teves, 24, of Phoenix, earned a master's degree in counseling
psychology in June from University of Denver.
He was a lovable person who made friends quickly and had a lot of them, said
his grandfather, Carlo Iacovelli of Barnegat, N.J.
As a boy, Mr. Teves moved from New Jersey to Phoenix with his parents. Mr.
Iacovelli and his wife wintered there and spent a lot of time with him.
“He was what you might call an ideal grandson,” Mr. Iacovelli said. “He was a
fun guy. He loved to eat.”
Mr. Teves was planning to become a psychiatrist, his grandfather said.
“He had a lot to look forward to,” Mr. Iacovelli said. (AP)
The other victims for whom a photo has not yet been released is: Veronica Moser-Sullivan, 6, whose mother is critically injured. (Barry Gutierrez/AP)