Of the 12 victims who were killed by James Holmes in Aurora, Colorado last Friday, three of them died as true heroes, saving the lives of their girlfriends through acts of strength and bravery.
The New York Daily News has paid tribute to each one.
Jon Blunk took Jansen Young to the midnight showing of The Dark Knight Rises in celebration of her graduation from veterinarian school.
“He’s a hero, and he’ll never be forgotten. Jon took a bullet for me," Young tearfully told the newspaper, while her mother explained than Blunk shoved her daughter to the ground when Holmes opened fire.
“He was 6-feet-2, in incredible shape, which is why he was able to push her down under the seats of the theater,” said Young's mother. “He pushed her down on the floor and laid down on top of her and he died there.”Similarly, Alex Teves, a 24-year old, made sure Amanda Lindgren was safe by hurling her to the ground when the dangerous situation came into focus.
“He pushed her to the floor to save her and he ended up getting a bullet,” said Alex's aunt, Barbara Slivinske. “He was gonna hit the floor himself, but he never made it.”
Samantha Yowler, meanwhile, was shot in the kneecap, but her injuries would have been a lot worse if not for boyfriend Matt McQuinn.
Witnesses say he jumped on top of his girlfriend as the shooting began and that Samantha’s brother, Nick, also helped saved his sibling's life. He made it out uninjured.
“Both the Yowler and McQuinn families thank everyone for their concerns, thoughts and prayers during this difficult time,” the McQuinns’ lawyer, Robert Scott, said in a statement. “Unfortunately, Matt perished from the injuries he sustained during the tragic events that unfolded... and went home to be with his maker.”
Our thoughts go out to all the victims of this tragedy.