Jessica Redfield: Victim of theater shooting had narrowly escaped Eaton shooting in June

Jessica Ghawi (Redfield)

After news broke of the tragic shooting that claimed at least 12 lives in a Colorado movie theater, another chilling element about the incident emerged as the victims were identified.

One of the victims of the gunman who opened fire into the crowd of people watching a midnight screening of “The Dark Knight Rises,” was Jessica Ghawi, a young sports journalist who had narrowly escaped a similar mass shooting at Toronto’s Eaton Centre in June.

Ghawi (who goes by Jessica Redfield online) wrote on her blog June 5 about the experience of cheating death, describing her sudden urge to get fresh air before a gunman opened fire in the exact area where she had been just moments before.

Her Twitter account shows a back and forth with a follower yesterday about her plans to see the newest Batman film. The final tweet she sent before she was killed last night at the Aurora, C.O. theater said, “THE MOVIE DOESN’T START FOR 20 MINUTES.” 

The Colorado shooter, dressed in black and a gas mask, threw a can of tear gas into the theater about 20 minutes after the film started. He then sprayed the crowd with bullets, killing Ghawi and at least 11 others and injuring dozens of people.

Ghawi had shared in her blog after the Eaton shooting that she discovered a new-found appreciation for life:  

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.

The suspect in last night’s shooting, 24-year-old James Holmes, was arrested by police who found
him standing near his car after crowds of people fled from the theater.


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