In the wake of the tragic shooting in Aurora, Colo., the Arapahoe County Coroner has identified the 12 people whose lives were tragically taken by suspected mass shooter James Holmes Thursday night during a premiere showing of the highly anticipated Dark Knight Rises.
Our thoughts, prayers and deepest sympathies go out to the friends and families of the Denver Dozen:
Jessica N. Ghawi, 24
Veronica Moser-Sullivan, 6
John T. Larimer, 27
Alexander J. Boik, 18
Jesse E. Childress, 29
Jonathan T. Blunk, 26
Rebecca Ann Wingo, 32
Alex M. Sullivan, 27
Gordon W. Cowdon, 52
Micayla C. Medek, 23
Alexander C. Teves, 24
Matthew R. McQuinn, 27
According to the Coroner's statement, "the cause of death in all cases is related to gunshot wounds" and all families of those listed have been notified.
Now, some are beginning to speak out about their tragic losses.
The family of Matt McQuinn, who was in the theater with his girlfriend Samantha Yowler, 27, and her brother Nick Yowler, 32, have along with the Yowler family released a statement to E! News via attorney Robert Scott:
"The McQuinn and Yowler families would again like to thank everyone for their thoughts, prayers, and concern. Samantha Yowler was hit by a bullet in her knee from the shooting in Colorado. She is recovering from surgery and is expected to make a full recovery. Nick Yowler was unharmed during the incident.
"Unfortunately, Matt McQuinn perished from the injuries he sustained during the tragic events that unfolded in Denver, Colorado and went home to be with his maker. As both families mourn the loss of Matt, they ask for everyone to give them distance and time. Again, the families thank everyone for their love, prayers and ask that we respect their families' wishes."
As for victim Alex Sullivan, the movie outing was intended to be a celebration as he was ringing in his 27th birthday. He took to his Twitter a mere hour before the movie began, tweeting: "
#TheDarkKnightRises @Reel_Nerds oh man one hour till the movie and its going to be the best BIRTHDAY ever."
And Jordan Ghawi, the brother of victim Jessica Ghawi, who had also tweeted moments before the film, took to his own blog and Twitter to express not only his sadness for the loss of his own sister, but for the other victims as well.
Jordan extended his apreciation for those tweeting their condolences about his sister, yet continues to remind followers: "I appreciate the
#RIPJessica hashtag, especially since the shooter is a trending topic. Let us not forget though that 11 others are dead."
Ghawi also writes on his blog: "We will be declining all interviews today in hopes that the media will grant the other victims of this tragedy the same amount of airtime that they gave Jessica yesterday. Let us learn the stories, and celebrate the lives, of Alex Sullivan (27), Micayla Medek (23), Veronica Moser (6), Matt McQuinn (27), Jesse Childress (29), John Larimer (27), John Blunk, AJ Boik, Alexander Teves, and Rebecca Ann Wingo."
As for the youngest victim, 6-year-old Veronica Moser-Sullivan, whose mother Ashley Moser remains in critical condition suffering gunshot wounds to the throat and abdomen, her great-aunt Annie Dalton shared with ABC: "Nobody can tell her [Ashley] about it...She is in critical condition, but all she's asking about is her daughter." Dalton also revealed the young girl had just begun swimming lessons and "was excited about life."
May they all rest in peace.
—Reporting by Holly Passalaqua