Jessica Ghawi, whose professional name is Jessica Redfield, tweets her excitement for ‘Dark Knight Rises’ shortly before her death. Sadly, she was also involved in the Toronto mall shooting on June 2.
As we learn more about what happened at the Dark Knight Rises massacre, we are also finding out more about the tragedy’s victims, including Jessica Ghawi. Jessica, a sportcast blogger, whose Twitter name is Jessica Redfield, was tweeting about the Dark Knight Rises midnight premiere in Aurora, just minutes before the shooting began.
“Movie doesn’t start for 20 minutes,” she tweeted to a friend, Jesse Spector. A string of tweets prior to this showed she was trying hard to convince friends to join her for the midnight showing. “Of course we’re seeing Dark Knight,” she said, “Redheaded Texan spitfire, people should never argue with me.” She also informed her followers that “the ‘im going to be too tired tomorrow’ argument never wins” and expressed excitement that she had “won the argument” with a friend who was joining her. Presumably, this is her friend, Brent Lowak, who reportedly underwent surgery following the shooting.
Shockingly, weeks ago, Jessica narrowly missed becoming a victim at the Toronto Eaton Centre mall shooting, on June 2. The reporter, who worked at Busted Coverage, wrote about the incident on her personal blog. “I can’t get this odd feeling out of my chest. This empty, almost sickening feeling won’t go away. I noticed this feeling when I was in the Eaton Center in Toronto just seconds before someone opened fire in the food court. An odd feeling which led me to go outside and unknowingly out of harm’s way. It’s hard for me to wrap my mind around how a weird feeling saved me from being in the middle of a deadly shooting.” She added, “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. […] Every second of every day is a gift.” In a heartbreaking conclusion she wrote, “I can’t help but be thankful for whatever caused me to make the choices that I made that day. I wish I could shake this odd feeling from my chest. The feeling that’s reminding me how blessed I am. The feeling that may have potentially saved my life.”
Jessica’s brother, Jordan Ghawi, described finding out about his sister’s tragedy on his own blog. “At approximately 0215 CST, I received an hysterical, and almost unintelligible, phone call from my mother stating that my sister, Jessica Ghawi, had been shot while attending the midnight showing of ‘The Dark Knight Rises’ in Denver, CO. I was able to contact the man that was with my sister, mutual friend Brent Lowak. […] Brent further stated that he took two rounds and that my sister took one round followed by an additional round which appeared to strike her in the head.” He revealed he was flying in to Denver right away, and tweeted, “This could easily be the worst night of my life.”
Our thoughts are with Jessica’s family, as well as all of the family and friends of the reported 50+ victims of this horrible tragedy.
UPDATE: Jordan has spoken to fellow shooting victim Brent who was with Jessica. He describes what happened in detail:
“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. The veracity of any other statements not issued by myself or Peter Burns should be questioned.”
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