DENVER — Jessica Ghawi, an aspiring broadcaster who had interned in the FOX31 Denver sports department, is among the 12 victims of Friday morning’s deadly movie theater shooting in Aurora, FOX31 Denver’s Melody Mendez was first to report.
Ghawi, who went by the name Jessica Redfield in her on-air role, tweeted early Friday morning from the movie theater just before the shooting occurred about 20 minutes in to the midnight showing of “The Dark Night Rises.”
In June, Ghawi narrowly escaped another shooting at a Toronto shopping mall that left one person dead and four others injured.
On her blog, Ghawi penned a now chilling post about how she left the scene just moments before that shooting took place.
“This empty, almost sickening feeling won’t go away,” she wrote. “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.”
“It’s awful,” said Zubin Mehenti, a former FOX31 Denver sports anchor who mentored Ghawi during her internship at the station.
“She wasn’t here all that long, but I remember she had a great personality. She loved the NHL, that’s what always stuck out. She was an active blogger and wanted to be a host with an NHL team.
“She was pretty enterprising, and one of the few interns we had who came from out of state. Being an NHL broadcaster was her dream.”
Jessica was studying journalism at Metropolitan State University of Denver.
“We lost somebody that was just amazing in our industry and was going to be a star,” says Peter Burns, a morning radio host at WFAN in Denver where Ghawi had been interning.
Burns spent most of his show Friday talking about Jessica, who he described as a friend.
“Jessica Redfield loved it here,” Burns wrote on Twitter. “@JessicaRedfield came to Denver to pursue a sports career. I’m shaking.”
Jessica often blogged and tweeted, and just an hour before her death she tweeted: “I never thought I’d coerce a guy into seeing the midnight showing of ‘The Dark Knight Rises’ with me.”
“She was with a friend of mine,” says Jessica’s older brother, Jordan.
Jessica’s brother says the two dropped for cover when gunfire erupted.
He writes: ”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.”
“To shoot unarmed people that have no way of fighting back that is the most cowardly thing you can do. He is a coward and I attribute no other moniker to him than that,” says Jordan.