Blogger killed after surviving Toronto attack

Last updated 09:36 21/07/2012
Jessica Ghawi
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ASPIRING JOURNALIST: Jessica Ghawi

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Aspiring journalist Jessica Ghawi had a new-found appreciation for life after surviving a shooting in Toronto in June - only to be killed in another shooting a month later.

Ghawi, 24, was one of 12 people killed when a gunman opened fire in a movie theatre in the US city of Denver yesterday.

The Texan aspiring sports broadcaster, known as Jessica Redfield, went to the premiere of the latest Batman movie, the Dark Knight Rises, with her friend Brent Lowak.

Lowak told Ghawi's brother, Jordan, that she had been shot in the leg and head.

Jordan Ghawi recounted the story on his blog.

"Jessica and Brent were seated in the middle portion of the theatre when a device was thrown into the theatre that produced a 'hissing' sound," he said.

When shots were fired, Jessica immediately dropped for cover and asked Lowak to call police.

"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," he said.

This was the second shooting that Ghawi had experienced in recent months.

In her blog, she said she was on a mission to find sushi at Toronto's Eaton Centre in early June when a man opened fire in the food court.

But for some reason, only three minutes before the shooting she decided to go outside - a move that would save her.

Ghawi said that if she had gone for the sushi, she would had been standing were one of the victims had been.

"I was shown how fragile life was on Saturday. I saw the terror on bystanders' faces. I saw the victims of a senseless crime. I saw lives change," she said.

"I was reminded that we don't know when or where our time on Earth will end. When or where we will breathe our last breath. For one man, it was in the middle of a busy food court on a Saturday evening."

For Ghawi, it was in the middle of watching the latest Batman movie.

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- © Fairfax NZ News

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