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Names, details of victims emerge in Colorado theater rampage

  • Shelly Fradkin, the mother of a friend of shooting victim Alex Sullivan, places balloons to mark Sullivan's birthday at a makeshift memorial across from the Century 16 theatre east of the Aurora Mall in Aurora, Colo., on Saturday, July 21, 2012. Twelve people were killed and dozens were injured in the attack early Friday at the packed theater during a showing of the Batman movie, "The Dark Knight Rises." Police have identified the suspected shooter as James Holmes, 24. ((AP Photo/David Zalubowski))

AURORA, Colo. — Ashley Moser drifted in and out of consciousness in the ICU, a bullet lodged in her throat and a gunshot wound to her abdomen. In her waking moments, she called for her 6-year-old daughter Veronica.

Nobody had the heart to tell the 25-year-old mother that Veronica was already dead, the youngest victim killed at a Colorado movie theater in one of the worst mass shootings in U.S. history.

"All she's asking about, of course, is her daughter," said Annie Dalton, who is Ashley Moser's aunt.

Dalton said Veronica was "a vibrant 6-year-old. She was excited, she'd just learned how to swim. She was a great little girl, excited about life — she should be at 6 years old."

The little girl was among those who died when a gunman barged into a crowded theater in a Denver suburb, set off gas canisters and opened fire, killing 12 people and wounding 58 others.

Colorado authorities Saturday released the names of the victims killed in the rampage. There were eight men, three women and Veronica Moser-Sullivan, the youngest slain. Gordon Cowden was the oldest. He was 51. All died of gunshot wounds, according to the release by the Arapahoe County coroner's office.

One of the 12, Matthew McQuinn, has been tentatively identified and is awaiting final identification, though his family's attorney confirmed to The Associated Press that McQuinn was among those killed.

Rob Scott of Dayton, Ohio, said McQuinn died after diving in front of his girlfriend and her older brother to shield them from the gunfire.

His girlfriend, Samantha Yowler, was in fair condition after being shot in the knee. Her brother, Nick Yowler, was not injured.

The couple had moved to Colorado from Ohio last fall, Scott said.

For Alex Sullivan, it was to be a weekend of fun: He planned to ring in his 27th birthday with friends at the special midnight showing of "The Dark Knight Rises" and then celebrate his first wedding anniversary Sunday.

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