Aspiring sportscaster among 12 killed at Colorado movie theater

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by Kens5.com staff & CBS News

KMOV.com

Posted on July 20, 2012 at 11:45 AM

Updated Wednesday, Nov 13 at 4:35 AM

A San Antonio woman is among the victims killed and her long-time friend from Bulverde was injured in a mass shooting at a Colorado movie theater early Friday morning, family members confirm.

Jessica Ghawi, 24, was anxiously tweeting about the Batman movie premiere on Thursday, saying "Never thought I'd have to coerce a guy into seeing the midnight showing of The Dark Knight Rises with me."

She wrote and tweeted about hockey under the name Jessica Redfield.

@JessicaRedfield's last tweet was simply: "MOVIE DOESN'T START FOR 20 MINUTES."

Ghawi is among 12 people killed and dozen more injured while attending "The Dark Knight Rises" premiere at a Denver-area movie theater, family members have confirmed. Colorado police had originally reported 14 people were killed in shooting, but revised the death toll to 12 later Friday morning.

Ghawi was attending the premiere with long-time friend and ex-boyfriend Brent Lowak, of Bulverde, who was in Denver visiting. Lowak's father told KENS 5 that his son was shot once in the left buttocks while crawling away from the gunfire.

Lowak's father told KENS 5 that his son underwent surgery Friday morning to have the bullet removed and and shrapnel removed from his shoulder. He said Lowak is expected to survive, but that doctors were having trouble stopping the bleeding and are concerned about permanent damage.

Lowak is a graduate of Smithson Valley High School and had worked at an H-E-B and as a driver for A First Class Limo in Bulverde.

Gwahi's brother, Jordan Ghawi, wrote in his blog on Friday morning that he received a hysterical call from his mother stating that his sister had been shot. He wrote that he then contacted Brent Lowak, who he described as a mutual friend.

"Jessica and Brent were seated in the middle portion of the theatre when a device was thrown into the theatre that produced a “hissing” sound. The theatre than began to fill with smoke which is when patrons began to move from their seats. At that time, shots were fired. Brent and Jessica immediately dropped to a prone position for cover. Jessica advised multiple times for someone to call 911, which Brent immediately attempted to do. 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. He advised that he looked over to Jessica and saw what appeared to be an entry wound to her head. He further stated that Jessica presented with agonal respirations. Brent then took what may have been his only chance to escape the line of fire and exited the structure where he then contacted my mother. Brent’s actions are nothing but heroic."

KENS 5's sister station in Houston is reporting a Houston-area woman was also among the wounded. The victim's sister told KHOU she was still at an Aurora hospital waiting to have a bullet removed from the calf.

The gunman, identified as James Holmes, 24, is in custody. Police said he stood at the front of the theater and fired into the crowd about 1:30 a.m. CDT.

A law enforcement source told Orr that Holmes' residence was "booby-trapped," and that police saw what looked like "buckets of extra ammunition" and some kind of chemical inside his home.

This is a developing story. Check back at Kens5.com as more information becomes available.

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