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Valley Public Radio Staff
Sat July 21, 2012
Coroner Identifies Victims Of Aurora Shooting Spree
Originally published on Fri July 27, 2012 6:54 am
The Arapahoe County Coroner's Office has released the names of 11 of those killed in Friday's mass shooting in Aurora, Colo., during a midnight screening of The Dark Knight Rises. An additional victim was identified in a statement released by the family. Officials notified the families of all of the victims before publicly releasing the names.
This list will be updated as we learn more about each of those killed in the shooting.
Alexander J. Boik, 18: CBS Denver reports that Boik was from Aurora and that the family released a statement saying he "was a wonderful, handsome and loving 18-year-old young man with a warm and loving heart." The statement says Boik was at the movie with his girlfriend, who survived the attack.
Jonathan T. Blunk, 26: "He took a bullet for me," Jansen Young, Blunk's girlfriend, told NBC's Today Show. The couple, dating since October, according to Young, had been surprised to be able to get tickets on the day of the popular movie's premiere. Jansen said that when the bullets started flying, Blunk, who had some military experience and who had been planning to re-enlist in the military, pushed her under the seat to get her out of the line of fire and likely saved her life.
Jesse E. Childress, 29: An Air Force reservist, Sgt. Childress was a cyber-systems operator, the Air Force said in a statement, according to The Associated Press. He was from Thornton, Colo.
Gordon W. Cowden, 51: The oldest victim killed in the shooting, the New York Daily News says Cowden was a divorced father of four who worked from his Aurora home as a real estate appraiser. According to the Denver Post, the family released a statement saying he was "a true Texas gentleman that loved life and his family."
Jessica N. Ghawi, 24: An aspiring sportswriter and blogger, Ghawi recently wrote of surviving a Toronto shooting. Described by friends as outgoing, smart and witty, Ghawi wrote that the incident in Toronto taught her to appreciate every moment of life. NPR's Eyder Peralta wrote about Ghawi's tragic story on Friday.
John T. Larimer, 27: A U.S. Navy sailor, Larimer was a Petty Officer 3rd Class and had been assigned to Buckley Air Force Base in Aurora in October 2011, where he worked as a cryptologic technician. Cmdr. Jeffrey Jakuboski, Larimer's commanding officer, said in a statement that Larimer was "was an outstanding shipmate" and a "valued member of our Navy team," reports the Chicago Tribune.
Micayla C. Medek, 23: A graduate of William C. Hinkley High School in Aurora, Medek said on her Facebook page she was a member of the class of 2015 of the Community College of Aurora, reports the Los Angeles Times. "I'm a simple independent girl who's just trying to get her life together while still having fun," she wrote. The Times reports that friends said they tried to carry her out of theater after she was wounded, but paramedics said there was nothing they could do and told them to leave her behind.
Matthew McQuinn, 27: McQuinn's identification is awaiting final confirmation from the coroner, but his family's attorney confirmed in a statement that he was among those killed. The New York Times reports that McQuinn threw his body in front of his longtime girlfriend, Samantha Yowler, shielding her from the bullets that took his life. Yowler was hit by a bullet in her right knee, according to the statement, but is expected to make a full recovery.
Veronica Moser-Sullivan, 6: The youngest of those killed in the shooting, Veronica's mother, 25-year-old Ashley Moser, was also injured. A relative described her as a "vibrant 6-year-old" who had just learned how to swim.
Alex M. Sullivan, 27: Sullivan was celebrating his 27th birthday with a day out at the movies with friends to see The Dark Knight Rises. His uncle, Joe Loewenguth, told The Associated Press that he "was a very good young man," and that "he always made you laugh." Before the movie, Sullivan posted on his Twitter feed: "one hour till the movie and its going to be the best BIRTHDAY ever."
Alexander C. Teves, 24: CBS Denver says Teves attended Desert Vista High School in Phoenix and graduated in 2006. He earned a master's degree in counseling psychology in June from the University of Denver.
Rebecca Ann Wingo, 32: According to her Facebook page, Wingo had attended Aurora Community College as well as worked for the U.S. Air Force. Wingo's father, Steve Hernandez, posted the following to Facebook: "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 ... I love you my daughter Rebecca, we all will miss you."
The statement released by Arapahoe County coroner Michael Dobersen said autopsies were done on all of the victims. "The cause of death in all cases is related to gunshot wounds. The manner of death is homicide," according to the statement.
The suspected gunman, 24-year-old James Holmes, is in police custody and is scheduled to appear in court Monday. Authorities and bomb technicians spent the day trying to access Holmes' Aurora apartment, which was booby-trapped with what police believe were explosive and incendiary devices. For the latest news and ongoing details about the shooting, read our full post.
Correction at 6:50 a.m. ET, July 24: Earlier, we mistakenly referred to Veronica Moser-Sullivan as "Jessica" on second reference. We've corrected the post above. Our apologies.
LINDA WERTHEIMER, HOST:
The Arapahoe County Coroner's Office has released the names of the dead.
Alexander J. Boik's family said he was a wonderful, handsome and loving, 18-year-old young man. Jonathan T. Blunk was 26. His girlfriend told reporters that Jonathan "took a bullet for me."
Jesse E. Childress was a 29-year-old Air Force reservist, a cybersystems operator. Gordon W. Cowden was 51. His family called him a true Texas gentleman that loved life, and his family.
Jessica N. Ghawi was 24. She was an aspiring sportswriter and blogger. John T. Larimer, U.S. Navy; his commanding officer described him as an outstanding shipmate. He was 27.
Micayla C. Medek was 23. She graduated from William C. Hinkley High School in Aurora. Matthew McQuinn was 27. The New York Times reports that McQuinn threw his body in front of his girlfriend, Samantha Yowler, shielding her from the bullets that killed him.
Veronica Moser-Sullivan was 6, the youngest of those killed in the shooting. Veronica's mother, 25-year-old Ashley Moser, was critically injured. Alex M. Sullivan - he was celebrating his 27th birthday at the movies with friends. Alexander C. Teves - he was 24. He just earned his master's degree in counseling psychology from the University of Denver, in June.
Rebecca Ann Wingo was 32. Her father, Steve Hernandez, posted this on Facebook: "I lost my daughter yesterday to a madman. My grief right now is inconsolable. I love you, my daughter Rebecca. We all will miss you." Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright National Public Radio.