Colorado shooting victims remembered
(CNN) — They laughed, they cried, they celebrated a young life lost too soon.
Those attending Jessica Ghawi’s memorial service Saturday at a San Antonio church heard numerous adjectives describing the hockey fan and aspiring sports broadcaster.
“Spitfire.” “Spunky.” “Clumsy.” “Tough.”
The descriptions punctuated a service that lauded the life of a woman killed while in pursuit of her dreams.
Members of Alex Sullivan’s family embrace at a memorial across the street from the Century 16 movie theater on Thursday, July 26, in Aurora, Colorado. Twelve people were killed in the theater early July 20 during a screening of “The Dark Knight Rises.” Suspect James Holmes was taken into custody shortly after the attack. More photos: Colorado movie theater shooting.
”Hello Kitty” decorated flowers are sent to shooting victim Micayla Medek’s funeral Thursday in Denver.
Pallbearers carry Micayla Medek during her funeral at the New Hope Baptist Church on Thursday.
People visit a memorial across the street from the Century 16 movie theatre on Thursday, July 26 in Aurora, Colorado.
Angella Aquilis, left, and Maria Olivas mourn together at a makeshift memorial across the street from the Century 16 movie theater Wedesday, July 25.
Yvonne Amaro, 9, prays for those injured and killed as she visits the memorial on Wednesday.
Carrie Hensley, left, and Hailee Hensley mourn together on Wednesday.
Kevin Flynn, left, Aurora Police top brass division chief, and Cmdr. Jack Daluz visit the makeshift memorial.
A couple embraces as “Dark Knight Rises” star Christian Bale and his wife, Sandra Blazic, wait to place flowers at the memorial on Tuesday.
Bale places flowers at the memorial while other mourners look on.
Visitors pay tribute Tuesday, July 24, at the makeshift memorial.
A cross stands at the makeshift memorial for victims across the street from the Century 16 theater on Tuesday.
Greg Zanis of Aurora, Illinois, carries two of the 12 crosses he made for a makeshift memorial to the victims of last weekend’s mass shooting at the Century 16 movie theater on Sunday, July 22.
Greg Zanis writes the names of the victims of last weekend’s mass shooting on the crosses before erecting them at the memorial across from the Century 16 movie theater on Sunday. Zanis, a carpenter, drove all night from Illinois to deliver the crosses.
Parishioners pray during morning Mass, remembering victims of the theater shooting, at the Queen of Peace Catholic Church on Sunday.
Angie Terry of Alabama prays next to a white wooden cross erected for victims.
A man pauses before the crosses at the memorial near the Century 16 movie theater on Sunday.
President Barack Obama embraces Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper as Sen. Mark Udall, left, and Sen. Michael Bennet look on during a visit to the University of Colorado Hospital on Sunday.
Mourners bow their heads in prayer during the vigil for the victims of the Aurora shooting.
A woman is overcome with emotion during the vigil.
Tiffany Garcia, right, and her 6-year-old daughter, Angelina Garcia, cry on Saturday, July 21, as they look at a memorial for the victims of Friday’s shooting.
People pray at a cross erected at the makeshift memorial across the street from the Century 16 theater on Saturday.
Family, friends and former classmates of movie theater shooting victim A.J. Boik gather for a memorial service at Gateway High School on Saturday.
Boik and his girlfriend were at the midnight showing of ‘The Dark Knight Rises’ when a gunman killed Boik and 11 other people.
Movie theater shooting victim A.J. Boik’s girlfriend, Lasamoa Croft, center, embraces his mother during the memorial service.
Eman Alexander, 17, pins a ribbon on his shirt while joining family, friends and former classmates to honor shooting victim A.J. Boik.
Denise Toepel of Denver sheds tears while visiting a makeshift memorial across the street from the Century 16 movie theater on Saturday, July 21.
Handwritten signs decorate the makeshift memorial across from the Century 16 movie theater on Saturday.
Gerald Wright, 24, relights candles that have blown out at the victims’ memorial across from the movie theater.
Aviation Boatswain’s Mate 3rd Class Jajuan Mangual lowers the American flag on the flight deck of the aircraft carrier USS George H.W. Bush to half-mast on Saturday. One U.S. Navy sailor was killed in the shooting and another injured.
Two women mourn near the theater on Saturday.
Alicia Prevette, left, and Paul Stepherson attend a vigil for the victims Friday at the Century 16 movie theater.
A woman lights a candle at a makeshift memorial where the victims of the massacre are mourned.
Mourners hold hands at a vigil near the theater.
Mourners hug as they grieve the loss of the victims.
A group of teenagers stand behind a sign that reads “Strength.”
Dara Anderson, left, and Monique Anderson cry during a candlelight vigil across the street from the crime scene.
A woman holds a lit candle at a makeshift memorial.
Marietta Perkins of Denver prays for victims and their families.
Lonnie Delgado, right, hugs Heaven Leek during a prayer.
A mourner grieves on the curb during a memorial service.
People hug during a vigil for the victims.
Handwritten consolation letters lie beneath flowers at a makeshift memorial.
Nathan Mendoza, left, and Melissa Clark sit on the grass during a vigil.
Flags, flowers and candles make up a memorial site.
Two mourners sit on the ground at a vigil.
A sign prevents moviegoers from wearing masks or bringing in props to the AMC Arapahoe Crossing 16 movie theater in Aurora.
A woman looks at a makeshift memorial after attending a candlelight vigil.
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Ghawi was among the 12 killed in the July 20 mass shooting at a movie theater in Aurora, Colorado. Dozens of others were wounded.
Her service was one of four held Saturday for victims of the massacre. Matt McQuinn was remembered in Springfield, Ohio; Alex Teves was honored in Phoenix; while a private funeral was held in Illinois for John T. Larimer.
Ghawi’s family created the Jessica Redfield Sports Journalism Scholarship Fund in her name to help others who dream of pursuing careers in journalism. Ghawi, 24, went by the name Jessica Redfield on-air.
Several speakers humorously recalled when Ghawi, as an intern wearing high heels, fell three times on the ice while interviewing members of the San Antonio Rampage hockey club. A video of the falls was shown at the service.
Pastor Robert Emmitt of Community Bible Church said Ghawi — despite the pain and embarrassment — got back up. He called her a “strong-willed child.”
The victim’s brother, Jordan Ghawi, referring first to the suspect in the Colorado shooting, had two messages for the audience.
“If this coward could have done this with this much hate, imagine what we can do with this much love,” he said. “If you are putting your dreams on hold, you stop that right now. You chase those dreams. You don’t know how long you have here.”
Jessica Ghawi, who moved to the Denver area to pursue her career, narrowly avoided another shooting incident in Toronto just last month — an incident that prompted her to reflect on life on her blog. The Toronto shooting at the Eaton Centre left one person dead and seven injured.
“I was shown how fragile life was on Saturday. I saw the terror on bystanders’ faces. I saw the victims of a senseless crime. I saw lives change,” she wrote at the time. “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.”
The young woman’s boyfriend, minor league hockey player Jay Meloff, said, “She drank in life and celebrated the things that made us uniquely us.”
In Ohio, McQuinn’s family is still trying to make sense of his heroic death.
McQuinn, 27, died shielding his girlfriend, Samantha Yowler, during the shooting. She attended Saturday’s memorial service, where Quinn’s portrait sat near rows of flowers in the front of Maiden Lane Church of God in Springfield.
Herb Shaffer said during the service that his nephew’s core goodness and selflessness came out during that midnight showing of “The Dark Knight Rises” in Aurora.
“In a moment of crisis, you don’t have time to think about what you’re going to do, all you have time is to react,” said Shaffer, who is also a pastor. “And we saw a picture of Matt in that moment of crisis. … His immediate response was to protect the one that he loved.”
Alex Teves, 24, also died while protecting his girlfriend, Amanda Lindgren. More than a week later, his friends and family gathered in Phoenix to remember his spirit and life.
Attendees, including Teves’ parents, attended the memorial service in white T-shirts and blue jeans, just as Teves routinely did while in high school and beyond. Teves graduated in June with a master’s degree in counseling psychology from the University of Denver.
“He wasn’t very vain, he was more interested in relationships,” his father, Tom Teves, told reporters Saturday before entering Corpus Christi Catholic Church for the service. “… He put people first, always.”
About 1,700 miles away in Crystal Lake, Illinois, Larimer received full military honors at his funeral.
The Navy petty officer 3rd class had been in the military for about one year. Like his father and grandfather, the 27-year-old Larimer chose to join the U.S. Navy. He was serving at his first post, said his father, Scott Larimer.
Meanwhile, a court document filed Friday showed suspect James Holmes was a patient of a University of Colorado psychiatrist before last week’s attack at a movie theater that killed 12 people and wounded scores.
The disclosure was in a request by Holmes for authorities to immediately hand over a package he sent to Dr. Lynne Fenton at the university’s Anschutz Medical Campus.
According to Holmes’ request, the package seized by authorities under a July 23 search warrant was a protected communication.
“The materials contained in that package include communications from Mr. Holmes to Dr. Fenton that Mr. Holmes asserts are privileged,” said the document filed by public defenders representing Holmes. “Mr. Holmes was a psychiatric patient of Dr. Fenton, and his communications with her are protected.”
In response, prosecutors asked for Arapahoe County District Judge William Sylvester to deny the request by Holmes, saying it contained inaccuracies including claims of media leaks by government officials that in reality may have been fabricated by news organizations.
Sylvester granted a hearing on the request for Monday, the same day that Holmes is scheduled to be formally charged in the case.
Eleven wounded survivors remained hospitalized Saturday at three facilities, including five in critical condition.
One of them, Ashley Moser, underwent “an additional surgery” on Saturday morning and also suffered a miscarriage due to “the extreme trauma she sustained,” her family said in a statement. Moser’s 6-year-old daughter, Veronica, was the youngest person killed in the shooting.
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