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He Always Had a Smile': Names of Victims Emerge in 'Dark Knight Rises' Shooting

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"Always made you laugh."

Tom Sullivan, center, embraces family members outside Gateway High School where he has been searching franticly for his son Alex Sullivan who celebrated his 27th birthday by going to see "The Dark Knight Rises," movie where a gunman opened fire Friday, July 20, 2012, in Aurora, Colo. (AP Photo/Barry Gutierrez)

Colorado shooting victims

AURORA, Colo. (AP) -- Ashley Moser drifted in and out of consciousness in the ICU, bullets lodged in her throat and a gunshot wound to her abdomen. In her waking moments, she called for her 6-year-old daughter Veronica.

Nobody had the heart to tell the 25-year-old mother that Veronica was already dead, the youngest victim killed at a Colorado movie theater in one of the worst mass shootings in U.S. history.

"All she's asking about, of course, is her daughter," said Ashley Moser's aunt Annie Dalton. "She was a vibrant 6-year-old. She was excited, she'd just learned how to swim. She was a great little girl, excited about life - she should be at 6 years old."

A sports blogger who recently wrote about surviving a shooting in Canada, a man preparing to celebrate his first wedding anniversary, and a young woman were all among the 12 people killed when a gunman barged into a crowded Colorado theater, set off gas canisters and opened fire as spectators dove for cover. Dozens of others were injured, including 11 in critical condition.

On Saturday, Colorado authorities released the names of those killed-- eight men, three women and six-year-old Veronica Moser-Sullivan. The oldest victim was 51-year-old Gordon Cowden.

All died of gunshot wounds, according to the release by the Arapahoe County coroner's office.

Alex Sullivan Colorado shooting

For Alex Sullivan, it was to be a weekend of fun: He planned to ring in his 27th birthday with friends at a special midnight showing of "The Dark Knight Rises" and then celebrate his first wedding anniversary on Sunday.

"He was a very, very good young man," said Sullivan's uncle, Joe Loewenguth. "He always had a smile, always made you laugh. He had a little bit of comic in him. Witty, smart. He was loving, had a big heart."

Micayla Medek, 23, was also among the dead, her father's cousin, Anita Busch, told the Associated Press.

"I hope this evil act ... doesn't shake people's faith in God," she said.

A blogger who recently wrote of surviving a Toronto shooting was also among those killed, the woman's brother said.

The death of Jessica Ghawi, who was also known as Jessica Redfield, was a "complete and utter shock," said her brother, Jordan Ghawi.

He has been using his blog and Twitter account to update what he knew about his sister's condition throughout the day. He also appeared on the NBC "Today" show.

Jordan Ghawi said on his website that a man who was with his sister at the theater described the chaos, saying he and Jessica Ghawi dropped to take cover when the gunman first started shooting. Jessica Ghawi was shot in the leg, her brother wrote, describing details relayed to him by a man identified on the blog only as a mutual friend named Brent.

Jessica Ghawi began screaming when she was shot, and the friend tried to calm her and stop the bleeding, according to Jordan Ghawi.

The man was then shot, but he continued attending to Jessica Ghawi's wound before he realized she had stopped screaming, Jordan Ghawi stated. The man said she had been shot in the head.

Jordan Ghawi said the friend escaped the theater after being shot twice, but he was expected to survive. Jordan Ghawi praised the man, saying his "actions are nothing but heroic."

Jessica Ghawi, 24, moved to Denver from Texas about a year ago and friends and colleagues described her as outgoing, smart and witty.

"She was always kind of a sponge as far as how she could be an even better journalist and sports broadcaster," said Peter Burns, a radio sports show host with Mile High Sports Radio in Denver, where Ghawi recently interned.

Jessica Ghawi Colorado shooting

Ghawi blogged at length about surviving the Eaton Centre mall shooting in Toronto that killed two people and sent several others to the hospital. Burns and his girlfriend, Lauren Anuskewicz, both said the blog reflected everything she told them.

"She was like, `You guys would never believe what happened,'" Anuskewicz said.

Jessica Ghawi wrote of the Toronto shooting: "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. 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."

Anuskewicz said Jessica Ghawi had been in Toronto visiting a boyfriend and "it obviously was a very scary situation."

"And to be just so close to it," she added. "It's just impossible to imagine that not even a month and a half later this would happen, and she would be involved. It's just awful."

Yet, Burns said, Jessica Ghawi seemed more enlivened than intimidated by surviving that shooting.

"After the Toronto incident, I think she even looked at that like, `Hey, even after that, I'm able to pursue my dream,'" he said.

Burns said he was close to her family. He moved to Denver from Texas a few years ago and talked with Jessica Ghawi about establishing a sports radio career there, he said.

Former colleague Mike Taylor, a sports host at KTKR-AM in San Antonio described how she reluctantly changed her name for her career, taking the name "Redfield" as a play on her red hair because it was easier to say than her given name.

Jessica Ghawi was a prolific social media user under the new name. Her last tweet stated in all capital letters, "movie doesn't start for 20 minutes."

On Saturday morning, parents of John Larimer released a statement that Navy officials notified them about midnight that their 27-year-old son was one of the 12 killed.

The family said that Larimer's brother is working with the Navy to take his body home to Crystal Lake, Ill. He was with a unit that belongs to U.S. Fleet Cyber Command/U.S. Tenth Fleet at Buckley Air Force.

An Air Force reservist who worked at Buckley also was among the victims killed. Sgt. Jesse Childress, 29, was a cyber-systems operator, the Air Force said in a statement. Another reservist was treated and released after also being wounded in the shootings.

The other victims were Alexander J. Boik, Jonathan T. Blunk, Rebecca Ann Wingo and Alexander C. Teves, according to the coroner's office.

This post has been updated with additional information.

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