Rebecca Wingo was a 32-year-old mother of two. Her mother, Shirley Wygal, said Rebecca was the type who would give the clothes off her back.
“She had heart,” Wygal said. “And that heart was so empathic, so all about everyone else; whatever anyone needed she would do it.”
Rebecca had a gift for language. At a young age the Air Force recruited her as a Mandarin Chinese translator.
“Whatever it was she went in and did it so well, like nobody ever did it before,” Wygal said.
The job eventually brought Wingo to Aurora. It was there that her mother got a sick feeling on the morning of July 20.
“I got up about 7 a.m. and I had the worst headache,” she said. “I felt hung over, and I don’t drink.”
Throughout the day her family hoped to hear from Rebecca, but never did. At a police briefing they knew their worst nightmare was coming true. But in the days following the shooting, Wygal learned something that’s helping her cope.
“Rebecca was facing her shooter,” she said. “And that’s Rebecca. That’s Rebecca. If you’re going to shoot me, you’re going to look at me and do it. I’m so proud of her. For the life she lived, for the dignity she died with, and for all the lives I know she made better just by being here with us.”
Wygal hopes Rebecca’s story will inspire others to change the way they live their lives.
“If everybody would live like Rebecca lived, we wouldn’t be having any of these problems,” she said.
She’s not worried about Rebecca, and knows wherever she is, Rebecca has made that place better.
“It’s a much livelier place than it was Thursday,” she said.
There is a fund set up for Rebecca Wingo’s two daughters. You can find that information at www.auroraheroes.com