WARNING: Testimony details below are graphic
CENTENNIAL, Colo. — A longtime friend of Jessica Ghawi prayed over her body just moments after her death while shots were still being fired, according to testimony heard in the Aurora theater shooting trial on Wednesday.
Brenton Lowak, an EMT in training at the time of the July 20, 2012, said Ghawi told him to call 911 after shots were fired Aurora Century 16 Theater, during the attack that killed 12 and injured 70 people.
Ghawi asked multiple times to call for help but after she was shot in the leg, “her tone changed entirely” Lowak said.
“It transitioned from, ‘Call 911!’ to screaming,” Lowak testified. “Then the screaming stopped.”
Lowak said he immediately began helping Ghawi and applied his emergency medical training, even though he had been shot, as well.
Ghawi was shot in the head, Lowak said, going on to describe seeing her “brain matter” on the floor. Using the EMT term “black tag” to describe Ghawi’s injuries, which he said were “incompatible with life,” Lowak said he knelt over his friends body and said I prayer.
“I just gave her the best sendoff I could,” he said.
As previously testified, there was a shortage of ambulances, causing Lowak to be taken to the hospital in a police “supply van,” he testified.
Lowak had emergency abdominal surgery and claimed he now has a “clicking sensation” in his hip every time he takes a step. X-rays showed that a piece of shrapnel internally hit the wing to his hip, causing this injury.
A month before the Aurora Theater shooting, Ghawi escaped another shooting at a Toronto shopping mall where one person died. On her blog, Ghawi wrote about how a “weird feeling” saved her from being in the middle of the Toronto shooting.
The 24-year-old was an aspiring sports journalist and interned for FOX31 Denver where her broadcast name was Jessica Redfield.
Survivors Tarra Bahl, Kevin Campbell and Kimber Avra, all friends of slain victim Micayla Medek, also testified on day 16 of the Aurora theater shooting trial.
“I’m hit!” Campbell recalled Micayla yelling after shots were fired. He said he tried to grab Micayla’s arms and drag her to safety until he realized she was unresponsive.
Avra said the shooter was only about 20 feet away from her. Her voice quivered when she was showed a picture of her slain friend.
Avra and Bahl both stated and they saw the shooter with the gun, “all decked out” in black.
Arapahoe County District Attorney Rich Orman had Bahl stand up and hold her hands the same way she recalled seeing the shooter hold his gun.
The prosecution called 11 witnesses Wednesday, including representatives from the FBI who testified about the crime scene and representatives from the University of Colorado who testified about the mental state of James Holmes, the admitted gunman.
In total, 134 witnesses had been called by the end of Wednesday.
District Court Judge Carlos Samour Jr. questioned the prosecution to ensure they were still on schedule to conclude their statements in the allotted time of two months. The district attorney confirmed that they were, giving them four weeks to finish the presentation of their case.
The court will take off this Friday as part of its alternating schedule, as well as Monday in observance of Memorial Day.