Aurora Massacre: Family and friends pay tribute to victims as details emerge of those that died

 

The heartbreaking details of the people who perished in Thursday night’s massacre at the screening of The Dark Knight Rises in Aurora, Colorado are beginning to emerge, as families and friends pay tribute to lost loved ones.

At a vigil for victims, Candice Brown broke down when she received confirmation that her high school friend Aj Boik was among the dead, news she received in a telephone call. “It is indescribable he is gone. It makes me sick,” she said.

Aj Boik couldn’t get enough of comic books and comic book movies - he saw The Avengers four times - so of course he was at the midnight premiere of The Dark Knight Rises. The relentlessly happy teenager, who graduated from the local high school just weeks ago, was with his girlfriend, Lasamoa Cross, who he planned to marry. She survived; he did not.

Brown’s friend, Michal Westrich, described Boik as a pool ace, whose main concern was making everybody laugh. “If you looked anything but happy, he would come up to you and say, ‘this ain’t working, you got to smile’.”

On Twitter, Boik’s long stream of comic tweets - under the name AbsurdAsparagus - ended abruptly on Thursday night, but served as digital monument to his optimism, and to his enthusiasm. In a message left after his death was confirmed, another friend Jacob Hampton, wrote: “Find me a copy of Marvel vs Capcom 3 while you're up there. Rest in peace bro.”

Other victims of the killing spree to have been named so far include:

ALEX SULLIVAN

Alex Sullivan, an avid comic book collector, nicknamed “Sully,” died on his 27th birthday, and two days before his first wedding anniversary. He was an employee of the Century 16 cinema, watching The Dark Knight Rises on his night off. His heartbreaking last tweet to a friend showed his excitement: “oh man one hour till the movie and its going to be the best BIRTHDAY ever”.

JESSICA GHAWI

The 24-year-old aspiring sports broadcaster was the first victim publicly identified. Just weeks before, the self-described “red-headed Texan spitfire” wrote of the fragility of life after witnessing a shooting in a Canadian shopping mall where one man was killed and seven injured. After she was shot, Ghawi’s friend, Brent Lowak, attempted to give her first aid, then fled when the gunman began shooting at him. Jessica’s brother, Jordan, said Lowak’s actions were “nothing but heroic”.

MICAYLA MEDEK

Family members called Micayla Medek, 23, a “free spirit” was working in a sandwich shop while deciding what to do after college. Her family waited an agonising 19 hours before it was confirmed she was among the dead. Jenny Zacovich, the victim’s aunt told the L.A. Times, Cayla’s father broke down when he heard the news. “He was absolutely hysterical, just sobbing, ‘I want to get my baby and bring her home.’”

ALEX TEVES

Alex Teves, 24, was a therapist from Phoenix, Ariz. Caitlin, a graduate student in Denver who had been at the Dark Night premier but escaped the shooting, announced Teves death on Twitter. “Alex Teves was one of the best men I ever knew. The world isn’t as good a place without him,” wrote Caitlin.

JESSICA GHAWI

The 24-year-old aspiring sports broadcaster was the first victim publicly identified. Just weeks before, the self-described “red-headed Texan spitfire” wrote of the fragility of life after witnessing a shooting in a Canadian shopping mall where one man was killed and seven injured. After she was shot, Ghawi’s friend, Brent Lowak, attempted to give her first aid, then fled when the gunman began shooting at him. Jessica’s brother, Jordan, said Lowak’s actions were “nothing but heroic”.

JOHN LARIMER

John Larimer had joined the US Navy almost a year ago and was serving his first posting as a code-breaker and intelligence officer. The 27-year-old was remembered in his native town of Crystal Lake, Illinois yesterday as one of five children, who had excelled at theatre at school. Marsha Pothoff, principal of his high school, Crystal Lake South, told the Chicago Tribune, “He was a very nice young man, just a great kid to be around.”

MICAYLA MEDEK

Family members called Micayla Medek, 23, a “free spirit” was working in a sandwich shop while deciding what to do after college. Her family waited an agonising 19 hours before it was confirmed she was among the dead. Jenny Zacovich, the victim’s aunt told the L.A. Times, Cayla’s father broke down when he heard the news. “He was absolutely hysterical, just sobbing, ‘I want to get my baby and bring her home.’”

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