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Victim Killed In Shooting Had Narrowly Missed Mall Shooting In Toronto Weeks Before

Jessica Ghawi Was A Metro State University Of Denver Student
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Jessica Ghawi (credit: CBS)

Jessica Ghawi (credit: CBS)

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AURORA, Colo. (CBS4) – The family of Jessica Ghawi said she was an aspiring sportscaster and sports blogger. The 24-year-old was one of 12 shot and killed in the mass shooting at an Aurora movie theater early Friday.

“She’s my little sister of 16 months. She held a special place in my heart,” said Jessica’s brother Jordan Ghawi.

Jordan said he doesn’t want to speculate on any motive right now or have the tragedy turned into a politicized debate on gun control.

Instead, he wants to focus on the victims and share their life stories as more than shooting victims.

Jessica made her way to Denver from San Antonio, Texas. The aspiring sportscaster was studying for the past year at Metro State University of Denver. She was also a sports radio intern.

Jordan Ghawi flew to Denver Friday and plans to take Jessica’s body home to Texas. He said he won’t take his anger with him. “There’s no room for anger or hate right now. All of that will be taken care of in the justice system. That’s where our justice will be done, in the courts. Not in my heart and not in the streets.”

Jessica went to the new Batman movie “The Dark Knight Rises” with Brent Lowak, a friend from San Antonio. Lowak, 27, flew in to visit Jessica.

Lowak’s father, Larry Lowak, said the pair were excited to see the movie together.

“They went to the floor, they stayed down, you know, he said, ‘Stay down!’ Then he heard her yelling out, ‘I’ve been shot, I’ve been shot,'” said Larry Lowak.

Brent Lowak watched his longtime friend die. He remained in the hospital with wounds from bullet shrapnel.

Moments before Jessica was killed she had tweeted the message, “Movie doesn’t start for 20 minutes.”

Jessica’s brother said he hopes people remember the victims and all they contributed to this world instead of the gunman who destroyed so many lives.

“I want the rest of the victims, the dead and the wounded, to be remembered. I don’t want the gunman’s name to be spoken. I want them to remember Jessica, what their life meant,” said Jordan Ghawi.

Jordan said his sister narrowly missed bullets in another mass shooting in a food court inside a mall in Toronto in June. Jessica, who posted a blog on WordPress, wrote about that frightening incident in what would be her final post.

After describing that incident in the post, she wrote:

“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. 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. For one man, it was in the middle of a busy food court on a Saturday evening.

“I say all the time that every moment we have to live our life is a blessing. So often I have found myself taking it for granted. Every hug from a family member. Every laugh we share with friends. Even the times of solitude are all blessings. Every second of every day is a gift. After Saturday evening, I know I truly understand how blessed I am for each second I am given.”

Jordan said he will stay in Denver as long as he needs to, until he is able to take his sister’s body home.

The Aurora movie shooting suspect, James Holmes, was booked into the Arapahoe County Jail Friday afternoon.

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