DENVER - One of the 12 people killed in a mass shooting inside an Aurora movie theater on Friday narrowly avoided being in another mass shooting last month.
Jessica Ghawi who blogged as Jessica Redfield was at the Eaton Center in Toronto, a shopping mall, in early June. According to Redfield's blog, she was in the food court just seconds before someone opened fire.
"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," Redfield said.
Redfield said she planned to eat sushi, but instead changed her mind and decided to have a greasy burger and poutine.
"I found out after seeing a map of the scene, that minutes later a man was standing in the same spot I just ate at and opened fire in the food court full of people," Redfield wrote. "Had I had sushi, I would’ve been in the same place where one of the victims was found."
Her receipt showed she bought her meal at 6:20 p.m. The gunfire started at 6:23 p.m.
"After that purchase I said I felt funny. It wasn’t the kind of funny you feel after spending money you know you shouldn’t have spent. It was almost a panicky feeling that left my chest feeling like something was missing. A feeling that was overwhelming enough to lead me to head outside in the rain to get fresh air instead of continuing back into the food court to go shopping at SportChek," wrote Redfield. "Had I not gone outside, I would’ve been in the midst of gunfire."
Redfield said she found out about the shooting when she saw people funneling out of every exit.
"I overheard a panicked guy say, 'There was a shooting in the food court.' I thought that there was no way, I was just down there," Redfield wrote.
When Redfield found out someone had died she said she was convinced she was going to throw up.
"I’m not trained to handle crime and murder," said Redfield. "Gun crimes are fairly common where I grew up in Texas, but I never imagined I’d experience a violent crime first hand. I’m on vacation and wanted to eat and go shopping. Everyone else at the mall probably wanted the same thing. I doubt anyone left for the mall imagined they witness a shooting."
One person died in the shooting, several others were injured.
"I was shown how fragile life was on Saturday," Redfield wrote. "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."
"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," said Redfield.
Redfield has just moved to Denver from San Antonio. She was with a friend at the movie theater. That friend was also shot. He was taken to the hospital.
Redfield was active on Twitter. Minutes before the shooting she was on Twitter. A friend asked, "Which is why you’re tweeting now and not at the movie?"
Her last tweet answered that, "MOVIE DOESN'T START FOR 20 MINUTES."
Minutes before that she tweeted, "Of course we're seeing Dark Knight. Redheaded Texan spitfire, people should never argue with me.Maybe I should get in on those NHL talks..."
Earlier in the day she told her friends, "Never thought I'd have to coerce a guy into seeing the midnight showing of The Dark Knight Rises with me."
Redfield said about herself on her blog page, "Not your typical sarcastic feisty redhead attempting to perfect the trifecta of class, sass, and crass. Yankee born, Texas raised, Colorado blooming."
Jessica's first interview:
Jessica's brother's blog:
Andrew's Facebook page:
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