Of the 12 murdered last night in the Aurora, Colo., movie-theater shooting was Jessica Ghawi, a 24-year-old aspiring journalist and sportscaster.
According to Adrian Dater, a journalist and friend from the Denver Post, Ghawi (who wrote using the name Jessica Redfield) narrowly missed being killed in a shopping-mall shooting only last month in Toronto.
“She said what she saw would never leave her," Dater wrote in a Post blog. "She said something to the effect that if she’d been in a certain spot just a minute before, she likely would have been one of the victims. She talked about how lucky she was.”
In her personal blog, Ghawi describes the experience in detail and then reflects, “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.”
Just half an hour before the movie was about to start, she was tweeting her friend Jesse Spector, a national hockey writer for Sporting News, about the show: “You aren’t seeing it tonight?” “Psh. Loser!” “MOVIE DOESN’T START FOR 20 MINUTES.”
Spector went on to write this morning in Sporting News, “Jessica Redfield was going to be a sportscaster, and she was going to be a good one. She was sharp, funny, enthusiastic and had the kind of passion for sports and journalism that makes people succeed.”
He went on to explain that their Twitter exchange was “pure silliness, sharply sarcastic and made me smile,” but now her words about the movie's start time are “haunting.”
Ghawi was described as a “passionate journalist” and a “good friend” in the Sporting News article.
President Barack Obama's comments on the shooting likely reflect the feelings of many reading about the event: "I hope all of you will keep the people of Aurora in your hearts and minds today. May the Lord bring them comfort and healing in hard days to come."
Katelyn recently completed her MBA at the Jon M. Huntsman School of Business at Utah State University. She received her undergrad degree at Brigham Young University-Idaho in English, professional writing. She currently works for Deseret Digital Media