A U.S. Navy veteran who served three tours of duty in the Middle East. A 6-year-old girl excited about her swimming classes. A Target employee who shielded his girlfriend and her brother with his own body.
They and nine others were killed in the shooting rampage during a midnight showing of "The Dark Knight Rises" in a Denver suburb. Here are their stories.
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Jessica Ghawi Redfield was an aspiring sports writer in her mid-20s who had narrowly escaped another mass shooting in Toronto just last month.
She had recently moved to Denver from San Antonio to pursue her dream and was working as an intern at a Denver sports radio station.
Her brother wrote on his blog, "The outpouring of support for my family is overwhelming. Hearing from people from all of the world. My family thanks you."
Alex Sullivan was at the movie as part of this 27th birthday celebration. Sunday was to be his wedding anniversary.
"The Sullivan family lost a cherished member of their family today. Alex was smart, funny and above all loved dearly by his friends and family," his family said in a statement.
Matt McQuinn was killed while trying to provide cover for his girlfriend. McQuinn and his friend, Nick Yowler, dove on top of Samantha Yowler to shield her from bullets, his family said.
Yowler was shot in the knee.
Petty Officer Third Class John Larimer was a U.S. Navy sailor from Crystal Lake, Ill.
He was assigned to the U.S. Fleet Cyber Command/U.S. Tenth Fleet at Buckley Air Force and worked as a a cryptologic technician.
"We love you John and we will miss you always," his family said in a statement.
Micayla Medek, an Aurora Community College student, was killed in the shooting. Her father said Micayla was a "precious soul," who was saving money for a trip to India.
A family member said, "I hope this evil act ... doesn't shake people's faith in God."
AJ Boik graduated from Gateway High School this year where he played baseball. "AJ was a wonderful, handsome and loving eighteen year old young man with a warm and loving heart," his family said in a statement.
Boik was at the movie with his girlfriend, who was not hurt.
Jesse Childress was wounded in the shooting and died at the hospital. He was a reservist with the Air Force and worked as a cyber-systems operator at Buckley Air Force Base.
He lived in Thornton and was single.
John Blunk wanted to be a hero, family and friends say. "He always talked about if he were going to die, he wanted to die a hero," his estranged wife, Chantel Blunk, told NBC News.
Blunk was at the movie with a friend who credited him with saving her life. He leaves behind his wife, Chantel, and two children.
Just 6 years old, Veronica Moser-Sullivan is a described as a 'vibrant' girl. She went to the movie with her mother, Ashley.
Ashley, 25, was shot and paralyzed from the waist down.
Alex Teves' father, Tom Teves, said that his son had blocked his girlfriend from a bullet when he was shot and killed.
Teves was a graduate of Desert Vista High School in Tempe, Ariz. and had just graduated from the University of Denver with a masters degree in counseling psychology.
Teves' father said he had "a heart of gold."
Rebecca Ann Wingo
Rebecca Wingo, 32, a mother of two, lived and worked in Aurora.
She worked at Schryver Medical as an intake specialist.
Wingo's father wrote an emotional Facebook post about the loss of his daughter.
"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. Lord why, why, why????," Steve Hernandez wrote.
Gordon W. Cowden
Gordon W. Cowden was 51, and was a "Loving father, outdoorsman and small business owner," said a family spokesman.
"Cowden was a true Texas gentleman that loved life and his family. A quick witted world traveler with a keen sense of humor, 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, spokesman said.
Cowden had taken his two teenage children to the theater the night of the tragedy. The teenagers escaped unharmed.
Anyone interested in donating to help the victims and/or their families, go to: Link https://givingfirst.org/
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