Belfast Telegraph

Saturday 30 August 2014

Canada shooting survivor among dead

The Century 16 cinema in Aurora, Colorado where a gunman killed at least 12 people and wounded dozens of others (AP/Ted S Warren)

A sports blogger who wrote of surviving a Canada shooting just over a month ago was among those killed in the deadly cinema rampage.

Jessica Ghawi, also known as Jessica Redfield, was fatally wounded when the gunman barged into the crowded cinema and began firing at spectators during the midnight showing of The Dark Knight Rises.

Her brother Jordan Ghawi said his sister's death was a "complete and utter shock".

He had been using his blog and Twitter account to update what he knew about his sister's condition throughout the ordeal and also appeared on the Today Show.

Mr Ghawi said on his website that a man who was with his sister at the cinema described the chaos, saying he and Miss Ghawi dropped to take cover when the gunman first started shooting.

Miss Ghawi, 24, was shot in the leg, her brother wrote, describing details relayed to him by a man identified on the blog only as a mutual friend named Brent. She began screaming when she was shot and the man with her tried to calm her and stop the bleeding, her brother said.

The man was then shot, but continued helping Miss Ghawi before he realised she had stopped screaming, Mr Ghawi stated. The man said she had been shot in the head.

Mr Ghawi said the friend escaped after being shot twice, but was expected to survive. He praised the man, saying his "actions are nothing but heroic".

Miss Ghawi had blogged at length about surviving the June 2 Eaton Centre mall shooting in Toronto that killed two people and injured several others. Miss Ghawi wrote of the shooting: "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."

Jessica Ghawi was a prolific social media user. Her last tweet stated in all capital letters: "Movie doesn't start for 20 minutes."

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