Jessica Ghawi died in the shooting early Friday morning. (Twitter photo)
(July 20, 2012)—Jessica Ghawi, 24, of San Antonio is among the dead after a former doctoral student opened fire early Friday in a suburban Denver theater filled with people attending the midnight opening of the new Batman movie, "The Dark Knight Rises.”
Ghawi, who recently moved to Denver from San Antonio, blogged under the name Jessica Redfield.
She was a graduate of the University of Texas at San Antonio.
She interned at the Denver Fox TV affiliate and had recently gone to work as an intern at Denver radio station WFAN, where she primarily covered hockey, according to published reports.
She was also involved in an effort to raise money to buy sporting goods items for the victims of Colorado’s wildfires.
She went to the midnight showing of a hometown friend, Brent Lowak of Bulverde, north of San Antonio, who was wounded in the shooting.
She was tweeting in the theater before the movie started.
Ghawi’s brother Jordan called her death a “complete and utter shock.”
He got word of the shooting early Friday.
"I received a phone call early this morning from my mother hysterical that my sister had been shot,” he told KCNC-TV in Denver.
“I was able to decipher that she was with a mutual friend, Brent, who was in from San Antonio, he flew up to see her. I contacted Brent who was able to talk to me while wounded in the theater and provide me with information that my sister had more than likely been mortally wounded in a gun battle inside theater,” he said.
“She held a special place in my heart and the passion that she showed for her work and others was something was evident in everything she (did),” he said, “so we're hoping to get that reestablished and get her name out there and continue the dream she had and the passion she had for helping others.”
On June 2 she was in Toronto’s Eaton Center mall when a gunman opened fire, leaving two dead and several others wounded.
She later blogged about the experience.
A childhood friend remembered her fondly Friday.
"Jessica was very spontaneous, funny, willing to try anything,” Jason Harari said.
“I can't name anyone of her friends, anybody I've ever met that just didn't automatically gravitate towards her,” he said.
Ghawi was among the 12 people killed in the attack early Friday morning.
Nearly 60 others were injured, some critically.
Police arrested James Holmes, 24, whose apartment four miles away was booby-trapped.
Authorities said Holmes wore body armor, used an assault rifle, a shotgun and a Glock handgun.
Holmes' car was parked in back of the theater.
Officers found an AR-15 assault rifle, the civilian form of the M-16, a Remington 12-gauge shotgun and a .40-caliber Glock handgun in the theater and another identical handgun in the car, authorities said.
Oates says the gunman set off two devices to distract the crowd that released a smoke or an irritant.