MSU Denver student and former volunteer of the university’s Office of Student Media, Jessica Ghawi, is among the 12 dead in the Aurora Town Center shootings early July 20.
“We’re horribly saddened by this news,” said Cathy Lucas, Associate to the President for Marketing and Communications.
Ghawi was a broadcast student and reporter at MSU Denver’s TV station, The Met Report. She was interning at a local radio station, 104.3 The Fan, and was on her way to becoming a sports journalist. According to the Denver Post, Ghawi narrowly escaped a mall shooting in Toronto in July.
“Jessica was a wonderful woman with so much potential. She knew more about sports than most men,” said MSU Denver senior Simone VonRivenburgh. “She had a big, bubbly, personality mixed with southern charisma and would have been a force in the broadcasting community.”
Reports confirm that a gunman entered the movie theater shortly after midnight during the premier of “The Dark Knight Rises,” released two smoke bombs and shot 71 people, injuring 58.
The suspect, James Eagan Holmes, 24, was arrested after more than 200 Aurora Police arrived on scene. Holmes reportedly surrendered to officers behind the theater and remains in custody. Police are currently trying to enter his Aurora apartment, which reportedly contains explosives.
Holmes enrolled at the University of Colorado at Denver in 2011. He was in the process of withdrawing from their neuroscience graduate program.
MSU Denver President Stephen Jordan addressed the university community via an email statement that read, “Let’s work together to promote understanding and healing, and to maintain a safe environment.”
Students may call the Counseling Center at 303-556-3132 or the Health Center at Auraria 303-556-2525 for support.
Additional reporting by Brian T. McGinn and Nikki Work