The Century 16 movie theatre is seen where a gunmen attacked movie goers during an early morning screening of the new Batman movie, 'The Dark Knight Rises' July 20, 2012 in Aurora, Colorado. (Photo by Thomas Cooper/Getty Images)
Aurora, CO (KUSA) - The names and stories of the 12 people killed continue to emerge after a gunman barged into a crowded Aurora theater Friday, set off gas canisters and opened fire as spectators dove for cover. Dozens of others were injured.
For Alex Sullivan, it was to be a weekend of fun: He planned to ring in his 27th birthday with friends at a special midnight showing of "The Dark Knight Rises" and then celebrate his first wedding anniversary on Sunday.
Late Friday, Sullivan's family confirmed that police told them he was among those killed.
"He was a very, very good young man," said Sullivan's uncle, Joe Loewenguth. "He always had a smile, always made you laugh. He had a little bit of comic in him. Witty, smart. He was loving, had a big heart."
Micayla Medek, 23, was also among the dead, her father's cousin Anita Busch told the Associated Press.
Busch said the news, while heartbreaking, was a relief for the family after an agonizing day of waiting for news.
"I hope this evil act ... doesn't shake people's faith in God," she said.
A blogger who recently wrote of surviving a Toronto shooting was also among those killed, the woman's brother said.
The death of Jessica Ghawi, who was also known as Jessica Redfield, was a "complete and utter shock," said her brother Jordan Ghawi.
Jessica Ghawi, 24, moved to Denver from Texas about a year ago, and friends and colleagues described her as outgoing, smart and witty.
"She was always kind of a sponge as far as how she could be an even better journalist and sports broadcaster," Peter Burns, a radio sports show host with Mile High Sports Radio in Denver - where Ghawi recently interned - said.
At about midnight Saturday, a Navy notification team told the family of 27-year-old John Larimer that he was one of the 12 killed.
Larimer was in the U.S. Navy and stationed in Aurora. According to NBC 5 Chicago, Larimer graduated from Crystal Lake South High School in 2003, where a flag outside flew at half staff Saturday.
Matt McQuinn was with his girlfriend, Samantha Yowler, during the screening. The couple had recently moved to Colorado from Ohio in November 2011.
McQuinn was shot and killed as he tried to shield his girlfriend from the barrage of gunfire, Yowlers' grandmother, Elsie Windle told the Dayton Daily News.
Yowler was shot in the leg and continues to recover at a local hospital.
Another victim was identified as Jesse Childress on Saturday morning. Childress was a staff sergeant with Buckley Air Force Base.
Six-year-old Veronica Moser was killed, her great-aunt, Annie Dalton, told 9NEWS.
Veronica's mother, Ashley Moser, 25, is in critical condition with a bullet in the throat and in the abdomen, says Dalton, who is Ashley's aunt.
Jansen Young says she survived the shooting after her boyfriend Jon Blunk shielded her from the bullets by lying on top of her.
"Jon just took a bullet for me," she said on the Today Show.
Blunk's death was officially confirmed by authorities on Saturday.
Gateway High School graduate Alexander "AJ" Boik was killed in the shooting. His uncle John Hoover says the 18-year-old had hoped to go to art school.
On Saturday afternoon, the Arapahoe County coroner released names of the other victims including Rebecca Wingo, Gordon Cowden and Alexander Teves.