Like the rest of us, I have been watching the news with utter horror. The story from these survivors, is so surreal.
27 year old Matt McQuinn died, shielding his girlfriend Samantha and her little brother.
Alex Sullivan died on the night of his 27th birthday, two days before his one year wedding anniversary. I saw his father on the news, before he was given verification his son was dead. He was standing out front, holding a picture of his son, crying, hoping someone would recognize his son. Although the events are on such different scales, I couldn’t help but remember 9/11 and the countless people waving pictures of their loved ones.
Six year old Veronica Moser-Sullivan was killed, her mother 25 yr old Ashley is in the hospital in critical condition and no one has been able to tell her about her daughter, fearing she would not survive.
Probably the most talked about is Jessica Ghawi, who just over a month ago escaped the shooting in a Toronto mall, only to be killed at this theater. Her last tweet was “Movies doesn’t start for another 20 mins”. Do you know what someone said in a response tweet to her yesterday? “And U were dead 5 later”.
She was with her friend Brent, who is still in the hospital. She was shot first in the leg and Brent tried to help her. He was then shot from behind and as he leaned over to attend to Jessica further, he realized she was no longer screaming because she had then been hit in the head. Jessica’s brother has since seen Brent in the hospital, and this is Brent’s story (blog link below):
Jessica and Brent were seated in the middle portion of the theatre when a device was thrown into the theatre that produced a “hissing” sound. The theatre than began to fill with smoke which is when patrons began to move from their seats. At that time, shots were fired. Brent and Jessica immediately dropped to a prone position for cover. Jessica advised multiple times for someone to call 911, which Brent immediately attempted to do. Brent then heard Jessica scream and noticed that she was struck by a round in the leg. Brent, began holding pressure on the wound and attempted to calm Jessica. It was at this time that Brent took a round to his lower extremities. While still administering first aid, Brent noticed that Jessica was no longer screaming. He advised that he looked over to Jessica and saw what appeared to be an entry wound to her head. He further stated that Jessica presented with agonal respirations. Brent then took what may have been his only chance to escape the line of fire and exited the structure where he then contacted my mother. Brent’s actions are nothing but heroic. The veracity of any other statements not issued by myself or Peter Burns should be questioned.
10 passed in the theater, 2 at the hospital.
John Larimer , age 27, Petty Officer 3rd Class Navy.
Alexander Boik, age 19
Jesse Childress, age 29, Air Force Staff Sergeant.
Jonathan Blunk, age 26.
Rebecca Anne Wingo, age 32.
Gordan W. Cowden, age 41. I am assuming this is the father that was with his two daughters, who tried to carry him out but were unable to, and had to flee in order to save their own lives.
Micayla Medek, age 23, who called herself a sandwich artist.
Alexander Teves, age 24.
Note: A 4 month old baby was treated for burns from the tear gas and released.
11 victims are still in critical condition, among those a man named Josh was shot twice while helping his best friend, Brandon Axelrod shield his new wife, Denise. Reports say 58 people were injured.
I am completely incapable of understanding acts of violence like this. All I can do is watch and cry. I hate being an overly empathic person. It’s good for my friends and family, I guess, but when events like this happen I just cry. While visiting with my dad last night, he asked me why I was watching it on the news, if it upset me so much. My answer is because these people were murdered in cold blood and they deserve to be remembered and their stories told. They should just be the 12 victims. They all have names, they all have people who are being deeply mourned.
Anyways, I am going to stop now. I know you come here to read my writing, not my thoughts on what is going on in my country. 🙂 I just felt moved to say something about it, because honestly with me speaking on a public platform, I couldn’t in good conscience not say something. The one thing that has been consistent with all of the families is please talk about our loved ones, don’t plaster this monster’s name all over the news. I will not refer to him in my blog.
Any other comments I have to say on this event will be updated on this entry, so as not to bog others down who don’t want to read about this. 🙂