One of the fatally wounded victims of the Aurora, Colo. movie theater shooting early Friday morning was Jessica Ghawi, an aspiring sportscaster and journalist who survived a mall shooting in Toronto just last month, Deadspin first reported.
Ghawi, who went by Jessica Redfield professionally, wrote a chilling account about surviving the Canada shooting on her blog. In it, Ghawi wrote of an “odd feeling” and an “empty, almost sickening feeling” that wouldn’t go away after the Eaton Mall shooting, in what would be the final post on her blog.
I can’t get this odd feeling out of my chest. This empty, almost sickening feeling won’t go away. I noticed this feeling when I was in the Eaton Center in Toronto just seconds before someone opened fire in the food court. An odd feeling which led me to go outside and unknowingly out of harm‘s way. It’s hard for me to wrap my mind around how a weird feeling saved me from being in the middle of a deadly shooting.
Ghawi wrote about how a few small decision she made that day saved her life. She wrote that by going for a greasy burger and not sushi in the food court and by stepping outside for a breath of fresh air prevented her from being a shooting victim that day. Ghawi concluded her blog post by reflecting on the fragility of life and feeling “blessed” for every living moment:
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. 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.
I say all the time that every moment we have to live our life is a blessing. So often I have found myself taking it for granted. Every hug from a family member. Every laugh we share with friends. Even the times of solitude are all blessings. Every second of every day is a gift. After Saturday evening, I know I truly understand how blessed I am for each second I am given.
Ghawi’s Twitter account was active in the last hours leading up to the deadly theater shooting, and her final tweets were about going to see the midnight showing of “The Dark Knight Rises.” Her last tweet was made at approximately 11:45 p.m. mountain time: “MOVIE DOESN’T START FOR 20 MINUTES.”
Twelve people were killed and 59 are wounded after a man in a gas mask and bulletproof vest walked in through the emergency exit of the movie theater, dropped two canisters of an unknown gas, and opened fire.