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NBC photo
John Blunk and Jansen Young are pictured in a cellphone photo. Young, a Davis High School graduate, said Blunk saved her life early Friday during the deadly shooting in Aurora, Colo. Blunk was killed in the shooting.

FARMINGTON — A Davis High School graduate who survived the Aurora, Colo., theater shooting is mourning the loss of her boyfriend, John Blunk, and praising him as a hero.

Jansen Young, a Farmington native who had recently moved to Colorado, was with Blunk at the theater early Friday when police say James Holmes went on a shooting rampage that left 12 people dead and 58 wounded.

In an interview with NBC's "Dateline" televised Sunday, Young recounted how Blunk immediately recognized the danger of the situation and pushed her to the floor.

"I thought a kid had come in and thrown a firework," she said.

Young said she was still asking Blunk why he was telling her to get down after he had pushed her to the floor.

"He whispered in my ear," she recalled. "He was like, 'Someone's got a gun, and they're shooting people.' I started thinking, 'This is it. I'm going to die right here.'"

Blunk was shot during the melee and later died.

"I turned to John, and I was, like, shaking him and trying to get him up," Young said. "He wouldn't get up. I kind of pushed his arm up, his shoulder up. I'm like, 'John, come on.' And he wasn't moving."

Blunk was a military veteran who served on the U.S.S. Nimitz. He was separated from his wife, Chantel, with whom he had two children.

"Dateline" reported that Chantel Blunk was "unhappy that (Young) left (Blunk) that night not knowing for certain if he was dead." But Young "knew in her heart he was gone."

"I can't even imagine my life without him," Young said. "How can you share this with somebody and then not have him around anymore?"

Saturday, Young was interviewed by NBC's "Today," explaining to Savannah Guthrie how Blunk shielded her body with his and saved her life.

"I was like, 'Oh my gosh. I think John just took a bullet for me … and I was thinking about what a great hero he is," she said.

Young told "Today" that Blunk was a hero throughout his life.

"He's been a hero forever, well before I even met him," she said. "One thing he said … to me was, 'Jansen, I was born to serve my country.'"

Young said Blunk would have taken a bullet for anyone in the theater that night.

"You know, the nearest person sitting next to him, he would have been like, 'This person needs my help now,'" she said. "That just who he was … and everybody knew it. He went above and beyond to help everyone. … He was an incredible person."

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