I've been trying to stay as strong as possible for my children today, but it's been extremely difficult to keep the tears at bay as more and more stories of the Aurora movie theater massacre continue to be told. From the first-hand accounts of those who survived the most terrifying moments of their lives to the little info police has disclosed about the killing spree, the stories are heartbreaking and shocking. But none more than that of 24-year-old Jessica Ghawi (aka Jessica Redfield), one of the 12 victims of this tragedy, and the only one whose family has allowed for her name to be broadcast.

 

Read more in ¿Qué más?: What triggered James Holmes to go on a killing spree in a movie theater in Colorado?

Only last month, Jessica--who was the same age as James Holmes, the alleged killer--had narrowly survived another shootout by a deranged gunman in Toronto. According to what she wrote on her blog regarding that incident, she had been in the food court where the shooting took place just minutes before it happened, but a strange feeling took a hold of her and she decided to leave the area. But this reflection, taken directly from her blog, is what makes her death at the hands of Holmes in the Aurora movie theater even more heartbreaking:

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.

What Jessica had no way of knowing at that time is that for her it would be under even worse circumstances at a midnight movie screening of Batman in her adopted hometown of Aurora, Colorado. According to Brent, a friend who was with Jessica at the movies and survived the shooting, she was shot both in the leg and in the head, as the young woman's brother wrote in his blog. 

Those who knew Jessica, a huge hockey fan who came to Denver from San Antonio to become a sport's reporter, have nothing but beautiful things to say about this young woman whose life was cut short in the most senseless and violent way. May she rest in peace. 

Image via Twitter

About the author

Roxana A. Soto is Features Editor for MamásLatinas. She's a bilingual and bicultural journalist born in Peru and raised in Mexico, Argentina, South Africa and Miami. She's also mom to a girl in 3rd grade and a boy in Kinder. She loves books, languages, traveling and good food – especially when cooked by someone else.

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Filed Under: colorado, crime, tragedy
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