Jessica Ghawi – movie theater shooting victim

Jessica Ghawi wrote on her blog in June that she had a new-found appreciation for the preciousness of life after surviving the Eaton Centre shooting. Little more than a month later, she would be dead, killed in Colorado by a man wielding a gun, something she had so narrowly avoided in Toronto.
Ghawi (24) was one of 12 people killed when a gunman opened fire in a movie theatre in Aurora, just outside of Denver, a little bit after midnight on Friday. The Texan aspiring sports broadcaster, known professionally as Jessica Redfield, went to see the premiere of the latest Batman movie (“The Dark Knight Rises”) with her friend Brent Lowak.
Lowak, who remains in hospital after he, too, was shot, later told Ghawi’s brother, Jordan, that Jessica had been shot in the leg and head. On his blog, Jordan Ghawi recounted Lowak’s story, writing that Lowak and Jessica were sitting in the middle portion of the theatre, when a device was thrown in their direction “that produced a ‘hissing sound.’”

Jessica Ghawi - movie theater shooting victim
Jessica Ghawi.

By just minutes, Jessica Ghawi escaped a mass shooting in Toronto, last month. She chronicled the experience on her blog.
She wrote that at 6:20 p.m., she bought a burger but instead of sitting down to eat it at the Eaton Centre food court, she went outside to get some fresh air.
“The gunshots rung out at 6:23″ – she wrote. “Had I not gone outside, I would’ve been in the midst of gunfire.”
She found herself surrounded by the kind of scene we’re seeing today in Aurora, Colo. – Police, EMTs rushing to control chaos and bloodshed.
“I was shown how fragile life was on Saturday” – Jessica, who went by the last name Redfield professionally, wrote. “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.”
Unfortunately, her brother Jordan Ghawi said today that the coroners office of Aurora has told him his sister had died in today’s shooting. On his own blog, he says he got the call at around 2 a.m.
He spoke to Jessica’s friend, Brent, who was at the premiere of The Dark Knight with her.

Ghawi attended the screening of the movie with her friend, Brent Lowak, and had been tweeting about the movie minutes before it began.
Lowak said he and Jessica were sitting in the middle of the theater when it filled with smoke from a device that was thrown into the crowd, according to an account of the shooting posted by Ghawi’s brother (Jordan Ghawi) on his blog.
The friends dropped to a prone position to take cover from the spray of bullets.
“Brent then heard Jessica scream and noticed that she was struck by a round in the leg. Brent began holding pressure on the wound and attempted to calm Jessica. It was at this time that Brent took a round to his lower extremities. While still administering first aid, Brent noticed that Jessica was no longer screaming” – Jordan Ghawi wrote.
Lowak “took what may have been his only chance to escape the line of fire” and exited the theater. Once safe, he contacted Ghawi’s mother.
Six weeks ago, when the young sports writer had just missed getting caught in the Toronto food court shoot-out, she reflected on how lucky she was and how fragile life is in a blog post about the attack.
“I found out after seeing a map of the scene that minutes later a man was standing in the same spot where I just ate, and opened fire in the food court full of people. … I would’ve been in the same place where one of the victims was found” – Ghawi wrote.
After graduating from the University of Texas at San Antonio, Ghawi had been looking for a job in broadcasting. After interning with Mike Taylor, a sportscaster at San Antonio’s Ticket 760, she got a new job in Denver, primarily covering hockey.
Taylor confirmed to ABC News that Ghawi had been in Toronto’s Eaton Center mall at the time of the June 2 shootings.
“She was in Toronto, I think she was just there for vacation. She was having lunch in a mall in Toronto and there was a shooting in the food court where she was. She had just left” – Taylor said.
On her blog, Ghawi described the harrowing experience of seeing the victims of gun violence.

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