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4 Colorado shooting victims remembered for vitality, selflessness

By the CNN Wire Staff
July 29, 2012 -- Updated 0224 GMT (1024 HKT)
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • NEW: A shooting victim has a miscarriage while being treated at a hospital, her family says
  • Alex Teves and Matt McQuinn, who both died while shielding his girlfriend, are remembered
  • A service is held for Jessica Ghawi, as is a funeral for U.S. Navy sailor John Larimer
  • 12 died and scores were wounded in last week's attack at a Colorado movie theater

(CNN) -- They laughed, they cried, they celebrated a young life lost too soon.

Those attending Jessica Ghawi's memorial service Saturday at a San Antonio church heard numerous adjectives describing the hockey fan and aspiring sports broadcaster.

"Spitfire." "Spunky." "Clumsy." "Tough."

The descriptions punctuated a service that lauded the life of a woman killed while in pursuit of her dreams.

Cynthia Davis, center, visits the roadside memorial set up for victims of the Colorado shooting massacre across the street from the Century 16 movie theater on Monday, July 30, in Aurora, Colorado. Twelve people were killed in the theater early July 20 during a screening of "The Dark Knight Rises." Suspect James Holmes was taken into custody shortly after the attack. More photos: Colorado movie theater shooting Cynthia Davis, center, visits the roadside memorial set up for victims of the Colorado shooting massacre across the street from the Century 16 movie theater on Monday, July 30, in Aurora, Colorado. Twelve people were killed in the theater early July 20 during a screening of "The Dark Knight Rises." Suspect James Holmes was taken into custody shortly after the attack. More photos: Colorado movie theater shooting
Colorado massacre: Mourning the victims
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Ghawi was among the 12 killed in the July 20 mass shooting at a movie theater in Aurora, Colorado. Dozens of others were wounded.

Her service was one of four held Saturday for victims of the massacre. Matt McQuinn was remembered in Springfield, Ohio; Alex Teves was honored in Phoenix; while a private funeral was held in Illinois for John T. Larimer.

Remembering the victims through photos, memories

Ghawi's family created the Jessica Redfield Sports Journalism Scholarship Fund in her name to help others who dream of pursuing careers in journalism. Ghawi, 24, went by the name Jessica Redfield on-air.

Several speakers humorously recalled when Ghawi, as an intern wearing high heels, fell three times on the ice while interviewing members of the San Antonio Rampage hockey club. A video of the falls was shown at the service.

Pastor Robert Emmitt of Community Bible Church said Ghawi -- despite the pain and embarrassment -- got back up. He called her a "strong-willed child."

The victim's brother, Jordan Ghawi, referring first to the suspect in the Colorado shooting, had two messages for the audience.

"If this coward could have done this with this much hate, imagine what we can do with this much love," he said. "If you are putting your dreams on hold, you stop that right now. You chase those dreams. You don't know how long you have here."

Mom who lost daughter in shooting has miscarriage

Jessica Ghawi, who moved to the Denver area to pursue her career, narrowly avoided another shooting incident in Toronto just last month -- an incident that prompted her to reflect on life on her blog. The Toronto shooting at the Eaton Centre left one person dead and seven injured.

"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," she wrote at the time. "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."

The young woman's boyfriend, minor league hockey player Jay Meloff, said, "She drank in life and celebrated the things that made us uniquely us."

Tales of heroism abound from Colorado movie theater tragedy

In Ohio, McQuinn's family is still trying to make sense of his heroic death.

McQuinn, 27, died shielding his girlfriend, Samantha Yowler, during the shooting. She attended Saturday's memorial service, where Quinn's portrait sat near rows of flowers in the front of Maiden Lane Church of God in Springfield.

Herb Shaffer said during the service that his nephew's core goodness and selflessness came out during that midnight showing of "The Dark Knight Rises" in Aurora.

"In a moment of crisis, you don't have time to think about what you're going to do, all you have time is to react," said Shaffer, who is also a pastor. "And we saw a picture of Matt in that moment of crisis. ... His immediate response was to protect the one that he loved."

Alex Teves, 24, also died while protecting his girlfriend, Amanda Lindgren. More than a week later, his friends and family gathered in Phoenix to remember his spirit and life.

Attendees, including Teves' parents, attended the memorial service in white T-shirts and blue jeans, just as Teves routinely did while in high school and beyond. Teves graduated in June with a master's degree in counseling psychology from the University of Denver.

"He wasn't very vain, he was more interested in relationships," his father, Tom Teves, told reporters Saturday before entering Corpus Christi Catholic Church for the service. "... He put people first, always."

About 1,700 miles away in Crystal Lake, Illinois, Larimer received full military honors at his funeral.

John T. Larimer
John T. Larimer

The Navy petty officer 3rd class had been in the military for about one year. Like his father and grandfather, the 27-year-old Larimer chose to join the U.S. Navy. He was serving at his first post, said his father, Scott Larimer.

Meanwhile, a court document filed Friday showed suspect James Holmes was a patient of a University of Colorado psychiatrist before last week's attack at a movie theater that killed 12 people and wounded scores.

The disclosure was in a request by Holmes for authorities to immediately hand over a package he sent to Dr. Lynne Fenton at the university's Anschutz Medical Campus.

According to Holmes' request, the package seized by authorities under a July 23 search warrant was a protected communication.

"The materials contained in that package include communications from Mr. Holmes to Dr. Fenton that Mr. Holmes asserts are privileged," said the document filed by public defenders representing Holmes. "Mr. Holmes was a psychiatric patient of Dr. Fenton, and his communications with her are protected."

Victims remembered with poignant stories

In response, prosecutors asked for Arapahoe County District Judge William Sylvester to deny the request by Holmes, saying it contained inaccuracies including claims of media leaks by government officials that in reality may have been fabricated by news organizations.

Sylvester granted a hearing on the request for Monday, the same day that Holmes is scheduled to be formally charged in the case.

Eleven wounded survivors remained hospitalized Saturday at three facilities, including five in critical condition.

One of them, Ashley Moser, underwent "an additional surgery" on Saturday morning and also suffered a miscarriage due to "the extreme trauma she sustained," her family said in a statement. Moser's 6-year-old daughter, Veronica, was the youngest person killed in the shooting.

How to help the victims

Share your memories of the victims with us on CNN iReport.

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