John Larimer 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.
The parents of Larimer released a statement that Navy officials notified them about midnight Friday that their 27-year-old son was one of the 12 killed in the shootings at the Aurora movie theater.
The family says that Larimer's brother Noel is working with the Navy to bring his body back home to Crystal Lake, a suburb of Chicago.
Three naval representatives went inside the family home a few minutes before noon Saturday and stayed for about 30 minutes, reported the Daily Herald.
"He was a wonderful young man," said Karen Lavin, Larimer's aunt.
Lavin said the family was planning to celebrate her grandmothers 100th birthday Saturday. About 35 family members planned to gather for the occasion with sorrow hanging over them, she said.
"I am incredibly saddened by the loss of Petty Officer John Larimer," Cmdr. Jeffrey Jakuboski, Larimer's commanding officer, said in a statement. ''He was an outstanding shipmate. A valued member of our Navy team, he will be missed by all who knew him."
During a Saturday evening teleconference, Jakubowski, said five sailors attended the movie late Thursday night. Two were injured in the shooting.
His voice cracking with emotion, Jakubowski described Larimer a cryptologic technician specializing in collection, processing and analysis of communication signals as an "outstanding shipmate, a valued member of our Navy team, and an extremely dedicated sailor."
The Herald reported Larimer was the youngest of five siblings.