An aspiring sports journalist and "The Dark Knight Rises" fan, Jessica Ghawi was among 12 people killed in the mass shooting early Friday morning at a movie theater in Aurora, Colo. The native Texan had written movingly about witnessing an earlier mass shooting incident in Toronto.
The 24-year-old Ghawi, who had recently moved from San Antonio to Denver and reported on professional hockey, was tweeting enthusiastically about seeing the premiere of the Batman movie on Thursday, and tried to convince her friends to go with her to the midnight show. Friday morning, many of those same friends expressed shock and deep sadness when they learned Ghawi was one of 12 dead so far in the attack.
[COMPLETE COVERAGE: Colorado theater shooting]
According to Ghawi's brother, his sister's friend who was with her at the theater was shot but survived the attack. Jordan Ghawi said that his sister's friend, Brent, was administering first aid to her after she was shot in the leg. Brent was then shot himself and looked up to see that Ghawi had been shot in the head. He then fled "in what may have been his only chance to escape the line of fire," Jordan Ghawi wrote. "Brent's actions are nothing but heroic."
Deadspin has collected more tributes to Ghawi from other sports journalists. She apparently wrote under the last name Redfield because it was her grandmother's maiden name."She always wanted to be a journalist, never had the chance," Ghawi said of her grandmother last year.
Ghawi wrote last month that she was at a mall in Toronto while on vacation when a 23-year-old man opened fire in the food court, killing one person and wounding several others. Ghawi said that she stepped out of the mall after she got a funny feeling in the food court. A few minutes later, the man opened fire:
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. For one man, it was in the middle of a busy food court on a Saturday evening.
I say all the time that every moment we have to live our life is a blessing. So often I have found myself taking it for granted. Every hug from a family member. Every laugh we share with friends. Even the times of solitude are all blessings. Every second of every day is a gift. After Saturday evening, I know I truly understand how blessed I am for each second I am given.