Woman Survived Eaton Center Shooting Killed During Aurora Theater Shooting
Jessica wrote in her blog that she had a new appreciation for life after the Eaton Center Shooting
Jessica Ghawi detailed a very horrific encounter she experienced in her last blog post dated June 5, 2012. Ghawi was at the food court at the Eaton Center Toronto Mall when she narrowly escaped death after a man opened fire.
The first paragraph of the 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….."I felt nauseas. Who would go into a mall full of thousands of innocent people and open fire? Is this really the world we live in?"
The 24-year-old sportscaster narrowly escaped death on June 24, 2012, when Christopher Husbands opened fire in the food court at the mall, hitting seven people. Two died and five others were injured. A woman who was at the mall went into early labor as a result of the excitement of the shooting. Ghawi considered ordering sushi from a food court restaurant, but changed her mind, walked to the other side of the food court, and ordered a burger instead. Just over two minutes later, Husbands opened fire on the side of the food court she just walked away from.
The man was sentenced to life in prison and is eligible for parole this year.
Seven weeks later, on July 19, 2012, Jessica tweeted her final social media post:
Device Thrown Into the Crowd
She and her friend, Brent Lowak, attended the premiere of The Dark Knight at the Aurora Theater in Aurora, just minutes from Denver, that evening. The show started just after midnight. The two sat in the mid-portion of the theater when about 25-minutes after the movie began, a device was thrown into the crowd. It was a tear gas grenade, that filled the room with smoke obscuring vision and causing havoc in the crowd of 400. The device hit Jessica’s leg. The device made a hissing sound. Jessica asked Lowak to call 911.
Lowak bent down to tend to Jessica's Leg when she was shot in the head. Lowak was also shot. Jessica died from her injuries; Lowak survived.
Dressed in tactical gear and armed with several firearms, James Holmes began firing into the crowd of chaos, wounding more than 70 people and killing 12 before fleeing the scene.
Holmes fired 76 shots total in the theater. Six of those were fired from a 12-gauge Remington 870 Express Tactical shotgun; 65 shots from a Smith & Wesson M&P15 semi-automatic rifle with a 100-round magazine; and five rounds from a .40 caliber handgun.
Holmes told police that he had booby-trapped his apartment with explosive devices. Police discovered that Holmes had wired an explosive device to the apartment’s front door, which was connected to a remote-controlled robot that would detonate other explosives. More than 30 homemade grenades were found in the house, all wired to the main control box in the kitchen filled with 30 gallons of gasoline.
The 24-year-old was captured outside the theater shortly after the incident. Police initially mistook Holmes for part of the police squad due to the tactical gear he wore.
Holmes was sentenced to 12 life sentences in prison without the possibility of parole plus an additional 3,318 years.
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