AURORA, CO: Many questions linger in the aftermath of what happened last week when James Holmes walked into a crowded midnight showing of The Dark Knight Rises and opened fire. ABC news was quick to suggest a link between Holmes and the local Tea Party and others took advantage of human suffering to once again push their agenda of tighter gun control.
And, 12 people would never see a movie or life again.
Some say if guns weren’t so easy to obtain such a thing would have never happened. But it was a local shooting range owner who screened the future killer and denied him use of the range. Even Colorado’s governor observed that tighter control could have never prevented what James Holmes did in the first minutes of last Thursday morning.
Lost in the midst of political posturing are two important realities: the only person with a gun in that theater was a madman intent on snuffing out the lives of many as possible and 12 people are dead. But even so, there were heroes in Aurora. Three survivors, in particular, owe their lives to the quick thinking and selfless acts of men they loved.
Samantha Yowler survived the attack after a gunshot wound to the knee and the loss of her boyfriend Matt McQuinn. Witnesses said McQuinn dove on top of his girlfriend as the shooting started and that Samantha’s brother, Nick, who was also in the theater, helped get her out of harm’s way.
McQuinn (27) and Yowler (26) met at a Target store in Springfield, Ohio, where they worked and transferred to a Target in Aurora last November. “He was a great outgoing person,” a co-worker said. “We lost a great person and we still can’t picture or realize that he’s gone.”
Alex Teves (24) shoved his girlfriend to the floor as bullets whizzed through the theater. “He pushed her to the floor to save her and he ended up getting a bullet,” said his aunt, Barbara Slivinske, 57. “He was gonna hit the floor himself, but he never made it.”
A tearful Jansen Young told the Daily News that her boyfriend, Jon Blunk (25) was “a hero, and he’ll never be forgotten. Jon took a bullet for me.” Young’s mother said Blunk was “a gentleman. He was loving, the kind of guy you want your daughter to be with, and ultimately, she’s alive because of this, because he protected her”.
Blunk, a security guard, had served in the Navy and had just recently filled out papers seeking to reenlist in hopes of becoming a Navy SEAL. “To her, he was a hero anyway because he wanted to serve his country,” she said of her daughter. “He said that all the time: ‘I was born to serve my country.’”
As the killer burst into the theater and unleashed a deluge of indiscriminate gunfire, Blunk unselfishly protected his girlfriend. He pushed Jansen on the ground and under her seat, then threw his body on top of her.
Randall Blunk of Reno, said his son had served in the Navy for more than five years, mostly aboard the Nimitz in the Persian Gulf. “He’s a badass. That’s just how he was. He’s not afraid,” Randall Blunk, who raised his son as a single father, told The News. “I love my boy, I just loved him.”
In final acts of valor, Matt McQuinn, Alex Teves, and Jon Blunk, used their bodies to shield their girlfriends as accused madman James Holmes turned the Aurora Cineplex into a shooting gallery. Three young women made it out of the bloodbath.
But for the loves of their lives, they would have been killed as well.
©2012 Off the Grid News