Alive: Unborn baby clings to life after mother was shot three times by Dark Knight killer and sister, six, died in attack that killed twelve

  • Ashley Moser, 25, was in the theatre with her daughter Veronica, 6
  • Veronica was youngest of the 12 fatalities and Ashley is still considered to be in critical condition after being shot three times
  • Ashley and her unborn child are both still both alive
  • Relatives were nervous to tell her about Veronica's death because of her condition and she is said to be devastated
  • James Holmes, 24, opened fire in packed movie theatre in Colorado
  • Set to appear in court for the first time on Monday morning

An unborn baby is clinging to life after its mother was shot three times by the Batman massacre gunman, the Daily Mail can reveal.

Ashley Moser, 25, was hit in the abdomen and twice in the throat when ‘demonic’ James Holmes opened fire during a midnight premiere of the film, The Dark Knight Rises, in Colorado.

She was sitting next to her six-year-old daughter, Veronica Moser-Sullivan, who was one of 12 people killed by Holmes.

Ms Moser’s brother, Robert Sierra, told the Mail: ‘I don’t know how, but she still has the baby. Yesterday I was told she had lost it and today it’s OK. It’s a miracle as she was shot in the stomach.’

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Tragic: Veronica Moser-Sullivan was the youngest victim of James Holmes, who attacked a Colorado cinema. Her mother Ashley Moser and Ashley's unborn child are fighting for life in hospital

Tribute: The crosses erected near the site of the massacre in memory of James Holmes's 12 victims

Victims: A dozen crosses were put up in Aurora, Colorado as makeshift memorials to the victims of the shooting in the movie theatre

'Killer': James Holmes is accused of shooting 12 people dead and injuring 58 more during a movie screening

Arrested: Holmes, pictured in a photograph from his time as a camp counselor, will appear in court on Monday

Last night it was claimed that the breakup of a relationship could have sent Holmes over the edge – the first sign yet of a possible motive.

President Obama was yesterday due to visit Aurora, where the slaughter unfolded, to offer condolences to the victims.

Mr Sierra, 32, described Veronica as an ‘angel who was ripped away from us for no reason’. He said: ‘Veronica wanted to be a princess, everybody loved her. Her laughter was infectious, when she laughed everybody laughed.

‘She was only young but she had ambitions and goals, she wanted to go to college.

‘She would have so much fun playing, all you would hear through the house was her laughing and giggling.’

When Ms Moser was told about Veronica's death, according to relatives, she burst into tears and screamed: 'I want to die.'

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


Veronica Moser, 6, was killed and her mother Ashley was shot three times

Innocent: Veronica's mother Ashley, 25, was critically injured and is undergoing surgery for her wounds. She will likely suffer some degree of paralysis and she was recently accepted into law school

Horror: Denise Paba, Veronica's aunt, is comforted as she weeps at a memorial to the victims of the tragedy

Greeting: Barack Obama greets police chief Daniel Oates, far left, and mayor Steve Hogan, second left, after landing in Aurora to meet survivors and the families of victims

Solemn: 'I come to them not so much as president as I do as a father and as a husband,' he said to the crowd gathered outside the hospital. 'I confessed to them that words are always inadequate'

'She took it very badly,' Jean Moser, Ashley Moser's grandmother, told the Boston Herald. 'I know she was shocked.

'(Veronica) was a very delightful, lively little girl. She was very engaging. It’s a terrible, terrible tragedy.'

Veronica was to start learning swimming lessons on Tuesday, said Dalton. 'She was excited about life as she should be. She's a six-year-old girl. This is just a nightmare right now. It's a nightmare. Everything's surreal. It's just surreal.'

Above: In this overview, people arrive to a prayer vigil for the victims of a mass shooting

Anguish: Mourners pray in front of a makeshift memorial after a prayer vigil at the Aurora Municipal Center

Tragedy: People attend a vigil for the victims of Friday's mass shooting at a movie theater

Salute: Airman 1st Class Andrew Zayatz salutes a cross with the name of Air Force member Jesse Childress at the memorial site for the people killed by the gunman

Mr Sierra added: 'We called her Pumpkin since she was young, because she wore a pumpkin outfit to her first Halloween party  and it just stuck.

‘Veronica loved to dance, she loved to swim. She loved fairies and unicorns and she used to love dressing up and messing around in her mum’s high heels.'

Aurora police chief Dan Oates gave the hint as to what could have caused Holmes to carry out what Colorado governor John Hickenlooper called a ‘diabolical, demonic’ act. Mr Oates said: ‘I’ve heard one morsel of information about a relationship that may or may not be true.’

Last night fresh details emerged of the heroics of those who died in the massacre, including Alex Teves, 24, who threw his body over girlfriend Amanda Lindgren to protect her. He died as a result of his injuries, but she lived.

Vigil: Abel Jimenez, center, holds a candle with others, Sunday, July 22, 2012, in Aurora, Colo., during a prayer vigil for the victims of Friday's mass shooting

Prayer: People pray during a memorial outside the Aurora Municipal Center

Matt McQuinn, 27, and Jonathan Blunk, 26, also died using their bodies as human shields to protect their girlfriends. Some 30 people who were shot remain in hospital, with 11 in a critical condition.

Holmes, 24, is being held in the Arapahoe County jail on a charge of first-degree murder, where he reportedly has shown no remorse and ‘thinks he is in a movie’.

He will appear in court today to be arraigned where he will come face to face with 35 of his victims’ relatives, who will be sitting in the public gallery.

Jon Blunk (left) heroically saved the life of his girlfriend Jansen Young after he pushed her down under a cinema seat and lay on top of her to protect her from James Holmes' firearm attacks

Couple: Matt McQuinn, right, attended the movie with his girlfriend Samantha Yowler, left, and ended up being one of the casualties. His girlfriend was injured also

Couple: Matt McQuinn, right, has been hailed a hero for diving in front of a hail of bullets unleashed by James Holmes and saving his girlfriend, Samantha Yowler, left. McQuinn sadly died for his act of selfless bravery

Military hero: Jesse Childress, a 29-year-old Air Force cyber-systems operator, was another victim

The neuroscience graduate is said to have spent months planning his attack with ‘calculation and deliberation’.

Police say he ordered 6,000 rounds of ammunition and bought four guns before donning riot gear and a gas mask and opening fire at the Century 16 cinema in Aurora shortly after midnight on Friday morning.

The massacre could have been even worse. His A-15 assault rifle jammed, meaning he had to switch to a less powerful weapon.

Micayla Medek
Birthday: Alex Sullivan turned 27 on Friday, and celebrated with a trip to the movies which ended with his death

Casualties: Micayla Medek, left, and Alex Sullivan, right, were both declared dead after having been missing

Micayla Medek was a student at Community College of Aurora and worked at a Subway store

Fresh details have emerged about Holmes’s past, including how in 2008 he worked at a summer camp as a mentor.

Randy Schwab, spokesman for Camp Max Straus near Los Angeles, said Holmes was ‘responsible for the care and guidance of a group of approximately ten children’ during the eight weeks he was there.

A former friend said that as far back as last summer Holmes was obsessed with internet role-playing games. He said: ‘James seemed like he wanted to be in the game and be one of the characters. It seemed that for him being online was more important to him than real-life.

‘He must have lost his sense of reality, how else can you shoot dozens of people you don’t know?’

Weeping: Family members of the Aurora victims comfort each other during the prayer vigil

Wreath: A woman brings flowers to the vigil, which was addressed by President Obama

Honour: Monica Matryba and Keith Hoover with a picture of their friend Jon Blunk who died in the attack

Heroes: Young residents of Aurora gather to thank the first responders who dealt with the tragedy

Salute: Airman 1st Class Andrew Zayatz stands to attention for the Navy's John Thomas Larimer

Asked about Holmes, Mr Sierra was barely able to contain his anger. He said: ‘Even if he got the death sentence it would not bring Veronica back. We will miss her so much.

‘I have nothing good to say about him. They should have shot him on sight. Who would want to keep somebody alive who does something like that?’

Investigators are continuing to examine Holmes’s apartment, having disabled the 30 bombs he set up to kill police.

He had hoped to lure officers to his flat by setting a timer to play loud music as he was carrying out his rampage.

John Thomas Larimer, 27, who was a member of the U.S. Navy died in the Aurora, Colorado shooting his family confirmed

Death: AJ Boik was reported to be another victim of the murderous rampage inflicted on a Colorado cinema

Death: AJ Boik was reported to be another victim of the murderous rampage inflicted on a Colorado cinema

AJ Boik- killed in the Aurora, Colorado shooting by James Holmes is pictured with his girlfriend Lasamoa Cross

Details about the 12 victims emerged on Saturday, the day before Barack Obama planned to travel to Aurora to comfort distraught families of those gunned down in a minute and a half of real-life horror

'We need to embrace them and let them know we will be there for them as a nation,' Obama said Saturday in his weekly radio and Internet address.

The president planned just a brief visit to Colorado - a bit under 2 1/2 hours - during which he was also scheduled to meet with local officials in Aurora.

A woman whose boyfriend saved her from death paid an emotional tribute to him, saying 'he was just a hero last night, he has been a hero forever.'

Ex-serviceman Jon Blunk recognised immediately the gravity of the situation when the 24-year-old gunman burst into the Century 16 screening armed to the teeth with firearms and pushed his girlfriend Jansen Young to the floor.

Telling her to keep quiet and that 'there is someone with a gun and he is shooting people', Blunk then whispered to his girlfriend, 'We have to get down and stay down.'

Survivor: Rita Mora was shot three times and is now recuperating at a hospital in Denver

Comfort: Ms Mora is surrounded by her family as she lies convalescent

In a harrowing interview given to the 'Today' show on Saturday, veterinarian technician Jansen spoke of the confusing moment when Holmes launched his massacre on the unwitting audience members of the Aurora cinema.

'There was a bomb or something and it flew up into the left hand corner and it just went boom and Jon immediately pushed my hips down to the floor and he was like Jensen get down, get down and stay down,' said Young.

'And I was like, why? Because I have to question everything. And he pushed me under the seat and pushed me real hard and he whispered in my ear, "There is someone with a gun and he is shooting people." He knew it was real.'

Giving chilling details of the attack, Young spoke to Today with the tragic cinema in view behind her.

'There was a woman sitting on the row above me who was screaming "I've been shot, I've been shot,"' said Young.

'I kind of felt a little bit of wet, but I didn't know what that was and it was like a whole bunch of wetness everywhere and I started thinking this is a water balloon, this is too much wet to be anything but a water balloon.'

Still alive: Stephen Baton gets a kiss from his mother Christine at the Medical Center of Aurora

Prayer: Angie Terry pays tribute at the cross dedicated to one of the victims

Realising that she was indeed covered in the blood of wounded people, Young lay silently where she was listening to the constant 'boom, boom, boom' of the assault rifle, handgun and shotgun that Holmes was using to shoot the crowd.

'There was kind of a break in between each gunshot,' she said. 'Every gunshot, I was like, "This is it... I'm done for."'

All throughout this she felt Blunk pushing her down onto the ground and then something happened.

'Jon gave me one good push against that concrete again and then… I didn’t really feel his arms against my back anymore but I knew he was still there,' said Young.

Unaware of the gravity of what had happened, when the gunfire abated, Young went to leave.

'I guess I didn’t really know he had passed, up until I started shaking him and saying, "Jon, Jon we have to go … it's time for us to get out of here,"' she said, her voice breaking into tears.

Paying tribute: Tamara Meza and her son Isaac place flowers in front of the crosses

Prayer: Friends and community members paid their respects at the crosses for the victims

'I was trying to call 911 and find a cellphone because I didn't know if they knew. And then I thought, "Oh my gosh, Jon just took a bullet for me and I was thinking about what a great hero he is and he provided me the opportunity to survive." He just knew.'

As she crawled out to leave she saw bodies strewn across the cinema theatre and survivors running out of any exit they could find.

'I know I would not be here today if Jon had not been next to me in that movie theater.' said Young. 'He was just a hero last night, he has been a hero forever.'

The ex-serviceman was even planning to re-enlist and Young said that serving his country was all he wanted to do.

'He told me, "Jensen, I was born to serve my country,"' said Young. 'He saved me and gave me the opportunity to live and he would have done it for anyone that day. He went above and beyond to help everyone.'

Tragically, Young went to sleep last night only thinking of her lost love. 'I was laying down in bed last night thinking, I don't know if I can sleep and all I could think of was I know the most incredible man and I do, I love him so much.

'And I prayed to Jon last night saying "on, I love you, I am so grateful for what you done to me."'

In addition to Jon Blunk, another victim, Matt McQuinn, threw himself in front of his girlfriend, Samantha Yowler, and her brother, Nick, to save them both from a hail of bullets fired by shooter James Holmes.

The selfless act made Mr McQuinn one of the 12 victims of Holmes's maniacal shooting spree when the 24-year-old former PhD student entered through a fire escape in the Century 16 theatre and began firing indiscriminately into the audience.

Rebecca Wingo, 32, has been confirmed by her father to have been a tragic victim of James Holmes and his shooting spree at Century 16 cinema theatre in Aurora, Colorado

Victim: Jessica Ghawi, an aspiring TV presenter, was one of the 12 people shot dead in the massacre. She was tweeting about her excitement at seeing the film until moments before her death

Victim: Jessica Ghawi, an aspiring TV presenter, was one of the 12 people shot dead in the massacre. She was tweeting about her excitement at seeing the film until moments before her death

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

Preparing to celebrate his birthday, beginning with a midnight screening of 'Batman: The Dark Knight Rises', Sullivan tweeted: 'Oh man one hour till the movie and its going to be the best BIRTHDAY ever.'

Late on Friday, Sullivan's family confirmed that police told them he was among those killed.

'He was a very, very good young man,' said Sullivan's uncle, Joe Loewenguth. 'He always had a smile, always made you laugh. He had a little bit of comic in him. Witty, smart. He was loving, had a big heart.'

'The Sullivan family lost a cherished member of their family today,' the family said in a statement. 'Alex was smart, funny, and above all loved dearly by his friends and family.'

Sullivan died just two days before his one-year anniversary to his wife, Cassandra it was also reported.

Micayla Medek, 23, was also among the dead, her father's cousin, Anita Busch, told the Associated Press.

Busch said the news, while heartbreaking, was a relief for the family after an 19 hours spent waiting for news.

'I hope this evil act... doesn't shake people's faith in God,' she said.

Alex Teves: A friendwrote on Twitter that the victim 'was an amazing therapist, and died a hero'

Killed: Father of four Gordon Cowden, 51, was one of the 12 victims killed in the Colorado cinema shooting

For the family of John Thomas Larimer, the hours of anxious dread in the aftermath of the shooting turned to the horrible realisation that he was sadly among the dead.

They knew that he had been in the theatre and they could not reach the U.S. Navy serviceman's telephone.

Releasing a statement this morning, the family asked to be left alone in their time of grief.

'Last night about midnight, a Navy notification team arrived at our house to let us officially know that our 27-year-old son John was in fact one of the 12 killed at the theater in Aurora, Colorado,' read the statement.

'At this point, our other son Noel is in Denver working with the Navy and the family here in Illinois to make arrangements to bring John home.

'We respectfully ask that the family and friends of John be allowed time and privacy to grieve for John and we send our thoughts and prayers out to the families of the other victims and those still recovering in the hospital.

'We love you John and we will miss you always.'

Massacre: 12 people were left dead and 58 injured in the Colorado shooting

Crime scene: Bystanders gathered at the site of the shooting in the aftermath

Mr Larimer served in the forces with a unit as a Petty Officer Third Class and served with the U.S. Fleet Cyber Command/U.S. Tenth Fleet at Buckley Air Force base in Colorado.

'He was an outstanding shipmate,' Cmdr. Jeffrey Jakuboski, Larimer's commanding officer, told Navy News Service. 'A valued member of our Navy team, he will be missed by all who knew him.'

Eighteen-year-old AJ Boik is reported to have perished in the shooting too after traveling to the midnight viewing with his friend Jordan Crofter, 19, who was distraught at his friend's death.

Another named victim is Air Force Staff Sergeant Jesse Childress, who was assigned to Buckley Air Force Base, died in the Denver suburb of Aurora, said Lieutenant Colonel Jack Miller, a Pentagon spokesman.

A confirmed victim is Rebecca Wingo, 32, whose distraught father Steve Hernandez wrote on his own Facebook page: 'I lost my daughter yesterday to a mad man, my grief right now is inconsolable, I hear she died instantly, without pain, however the pain is unbearable.'

Listed as currently working at Schryver Medical as an intake specialist, Wingo's Facebook page features two little girls, although it is not known if they are her children.

'Everybody is hurting right now,' said a family friend Gail Riffle. She was a gentle, sweet, beautiful soul.'

Public displays: Aurora Mayor Steve Hogan (right) says a prayer in front of one of the 12 crosses set up across the street from the movie theater in order to honor the victims

Friends: Travis Hirko pauses at the cross of his friend Alexander 'A.J.' Boik, the 18-year-old lacrosse player who was one of the dozen victims

24-year-old Alex Teves of Phoenix, Arizona was the 11th named victim.

A friend, identified as Caitlin, wrote on Twitter: 'Alex Teves was a Arizona basketball fan, loved Spider-Man, was an amazing therapist, and died a hero...He could make us all laugh with his Gollum impression. I'll never forget that.'

The final victim to be named was 51-year-old father of four Gordon Cowden, who was described by friends as 'a man who loved God, loved his country, loved the outdoors but most of all loved his family'.

The death of Jessica Ghawi, the first confirmed victim, who was also known as Jessica Redfield, was a 'complete and utter shock,' said her brother, Jordan Ghawi.

He said on his website that a man who was with his sister at the theater described the chaos, saying he and Jessica dropped to take cover when the gunman first started shooting.

She was was shot in the leg, her brother wrote, describing details relayed to him by a man identified on the blog as a mutual friend named Brent Lowek.

Jessica began screaming when she was shot, and Lowek tried to calm her and stop the bleeding, according to Jordan.

Lowek was then shot, but he continued attending to Jessica's wound before he realised she had stopped screaming.

Jordan Ghawi said that Lowek escaped the theater after being shot twice, but he was expected to survive.

He praised Lowek, saying his 'actions are nothing but heroic.'

A makeshift memorial is shown behind the Century 16 movie theatre where a gunman attacked movie goers during a screening of The Dark Knight Rises

Someone who has grown up in Aurora leaves a note expressing their sorrow for the victims of the massacre

Jessica, 24, moved to Denver from Texas about a year ago and friends and colleagues described her as outgoing, smart and witty.

'She was always kind of a sponge as far as how she could be an even better journalist and sports broadcaster,' said Peter Burns, a radio sports show host with Mile High Sports Radio in Denver, where Ghawi recently interned.

Ghawi blogged at length about surviving the Eaton Centre mall shooting in Toronto that killed two people and sent several others to the hospital.

Burns and his girlfriend, Lauren Anuskewicz, both said the blog reflected everything she told them.

'She was like, "You guys would never believe what happened,"' Anuskewicz said.

Jessica Ghawi wrote of the Toronto shooting: '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.'

Anuskewicz said Jessica Ghawi had been in Toronto visiting a boyfriend and 'it obviously was a very scary situation.'

Heartbroken: A woman weeps during a service at Mississippi Baptist Church in Aurora, Colorado

Coming together: Sunday services, like this one at Aurora's Queen of Peace Catholic Church, dedicated a portion to remembering and praying for the victims of the attack

'And to be just so close to it,' she added. 'It's just impossible to imagine that not even a month and a half later this would happen, and she would be involved. It's just awful.'

Yet, Burns said, Jessica Ghawi seemed more enlivened than intimidated by surviving that shooting.

'After the Toronto incident, I think she even looked at that like, `Hey, even after that, I'm able to pursue my dream,'' he said.

Burns said he was close to her family. He moved to Denver from Texas a few years ago and talked with Jessica Ghawi about establishing a sports radio career there, he said.

Former colleague Mike Taylor, a sports host at KTKR-AM in San Antonio described how she reluctantly changed her name for her career, taking the name 'Redfield' as a play on her red hair because it was easier to say than her given name.

Jessica Ghawi was a prolific social media user under the new name. Her last tweet stated in all capital letters, 'movie doesn't start for 20 minutes.'

Over 24 hours after the shootings, it remained unclear what drove the suspect, identified as 24-year-old James Holmes, to fire round after round at the unsuspecting audience watching The Dark Knight Returns.

Aurora Police Chief Dan Oates said Holmes used a military-style semi-automatic rifle, a shotgun and a pistol that he had bought at local gun stores within the last two months. He also recently purchased 6,000 rounds of ammunition over the Internet, the chief said.

Mourners held a light vigil for the victims of multiple shooting in Aurora, Colorado

Mourners held a light vigil for the victims of multiple shooting in Aurora, Colorado

Despair: A young man grieves during a memorial service for the victims on Friday night

Resilience: Three mourners respond to the tragedy with a show of strength and national pride

Sad: Two girls attending the vigil outside the theatre which was the site of the tragic murders

The suspect's stellar academic record, apparent shy demeanor and lack of a criminal background made the attack even more difficult to fathom.

It also wasn't known why the suspect chose a movie theater to stage the assault, or whether he intended some twisted, intended symbolic link to the film itself.

The shooting was the worst in the U.S. since the Nov. 5, 2009, attack at Fort Hood, Texas. An Army psychiatrist was charged with killing 13 soldiers and civilians and wounding more than two dozen others.

It was the deadliest in Colorado since the 1999 attack at Columbine High School, where two students killed 12 classmates and a teacher and wounded 26 others before killing themselves.

Holmes had enrolled last year in a neuroscience Ph.D. program at the University of Colorado-Denver, though he left the program last month for unknown reasons.

In academic achievement, 'he was at the top of the top,' recalled Timothy P. White, chancellor at the University of California, Riverside, where Holmes earned his undergraduate degree before attending the Denver school.

Those who knew Holmes described him as a shy, intelligent person raised in California by parents who were active in their well-to-do suburban neighborhood in San Diego. Holmes played soccer at Westview High School and ran cross-country before going to college.

Police released a statement from his family Friday that said, 'Our hearts go out to those who were involved in this tragedy and to the families and friends of those involved.'

VIDEO: Thousands gather for a memorial service to remember the victims of the shooting... 

Moment: The Colorado Rockies fell silent before their game against the San Diego Padres

Mourning: President Obama led a moment of silence for the victims from Florida on Friday morning

Scene: A map shows the movie theatre and the location of the gunman's home in North Aurora

AUDIO: 911. Minute-by-minute audio of the police response to the shootings 

VIDEO: Eyewitness account of the shooting 

VIDEO: Police evacuate apartment building of shooting suspect 

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