AURORA, Colorado: The names of the 12 people gunned down at a Colorado screening of the new Batman movie were released Saturday, with a six-year-old girl, a teenager and two US servicemen among the victims.
James Holmes, a 24-year-old postgraduate student born in San Diego, is accused of killing the moviegoers and wounding 58 others at the shooting in Aurora city near Denver while “The Dark Knight Rises” was being shown.
Arapahoe County Coroner’s office said all 12 victims died of gunshot wounds and named the youngest as Veronica Moser-Sullivan, 6.
“She was beautiful and innocent,” the girl’s great aunt Annie Dalton told The Denver Post, recalling how the blonde child “loved to dress up and read, and was doing well at school.”
Veronica’s mother, who is 25, was shot in the neck and abdomen and is in critical condition at Aurora Medical Center. She is drifting in and out of consciousness and is unaware that her daughter is dead, said the newspaper.
The oldest victim was named by the coroner as Gordon Cowden, 51.
The others killed included John Larimer, 27, who joined the US Navy in June last year, and Jesse Childress, 29, who CNN said was also on active duty as a US Air Force staff sergeant.
Aspiring sportscaster Jessica Ghawi, 24, also died in the rampage at the midnight screening of “The Dark Knight Rises,” the final part of movie director Christopher Nolan’s Batman trilogy.
Ghawi’s brother, Jordan, spoke to CNN.
“The more air time these victims have, the less time that man has his two seconds on television,” he said, calling Holmes “a coward”.
The other victims were Alex Sullivan, a bartender who was celebrating his 27th birthday, Micayla Medek, 23, Jonathan Blunk, 26, Rebecca Wingo, 32, Alexander Teves, 24, and Alexander Boik, also known as A J Boik, 19.
The 12th person killed was listed by the coroner as Matt McQuinn, 27, whose body was presumptively identified but is awaiting definitive identification.
Victim support counselor Carol O’Shea said a painstaking process had been followed to ensure that families were notified first and in person.
“We are reaching out frantically and as quick as we can to try to get those resources to people and notifying people as quickly as we can,” she told reporters.
Many of those wounded in the shooting will suffer long-term consequences, according to Bob Snyder, a doctor at the city’s medical center.
The movie theater attack has revived a debate over gun control in the United States, and drew condemnation by President Barack Obama and his election rival, Republican Mitt Romney.
In Aurora, people gathered late Friday for two vigils as it emerged that Holmes bought more than 6,000 rounds of ammunition on the Internet, and four guns, in the two months before the massacre.