"We're shocked. We're numb. We're sick," she said. "Our hearts are broken, and we're crushed."
Whether he was running through obstacle courses at a Tough Mudder competition or interning at a school for students with special needs, Alexander C. Teves saw life as an adventure.
"Alex will be remembered as an intelligent young man with a passion for living life to the fullest," said Mary Gomez, a counseling psychology professor at the University of Denver and one of Teves' graduate advisers.
Gomez said Teves was a compassionate, positive person.
"His top priority was his relationships. His loyalty is admirable and he always put his friends first," Gomez said.
The 24-year-old Phoenix native earned a master's degree in counseling psychology in June.
He was a lovable person who made friends quickly and had a lot of them, said his grandfather, Carlo Iacovelli of Barnegat, N.J.
As a boy, Teves moved from New Jersey to Phoenix with his parents. Iacovelli and his wife lived there during winters there and spent a lot of time with him.
"He was what you might call an ideal grandson," Iacovelli said. "He was a fun guy. He loved to eat."
Teves was planning to become a psychiatrist, his grandfather said.
"He had a lot to look forward to," Iacovelli said.
While officiating the wedding ceremony for her two friends in 2010, Rebecca Wingo shed tears of happiness.
She had played a role in the two meeting each other, having taken her pal Cody Shafer out on the town the night he would meet his partner, Marq. So when the two men planned their nuptials, they knew Wingo had to be a part of it.
"That I'll have forever," he said. "Her laughter and then breaking down in the middle of our ceremony and crying."
Shafer and Wingo met in 2009 in an accounting class at a community college. Both single, recently out of the Air Force and new to town, they became fast friends.
"I don't think Rebecca ever met a stranger," Shafer said. "Her smile would just light up a room."
Wingo had started a job several months ago as a customer relations representative at a mobile medical imaging company.
Shafer said the 32-year-old was a hard-working single mother, balancing raising her two daughters with school and work.
"If she put her mind to something she was going to get it done," he said. "What an example she set for her little girls."
Associated Press writers who contributed to this report include Thomas Peipert and Ivan Moreno in Aurora; Dan Elliott and Matt Volz in Denver; Martin Griffith in Reno, Nev.; Julie Carr Smyth in Columbus, Ohio; Christopher Sherman in McAllen, Texas; and Michelle Price and Terry Tang in Phoenix.
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