Denver suburb mourns victims of theater massacre

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by MONIKA DIAZ

WFAA

Posted on July 21, 2012 at 7:09 PM

Updated Saturday, Nov 23 at 10:29 PM

AURORA, Colorado — Residents of Aurora, Colorado are remembering and honoring the lives lost in Friday's movie theater shooting massacre.

On nearly every corner surrounding the crime scene, people are leaving flowers, candles and prayers.

"It just hits so close," said Yvonne Johnson, who lives with her husband Tracy behind the theater. "You see it on the TV all the time, but I guess when it's in your backyard it's stronger, I guess ... This is our community; this is where we live. We know these people, we go to these places."

One day after the shooting, this city is learning more about the people who didn't survive — from San Antonio native Jessica Ghawi; to Rebecca Wingo, who hailed from Quinlan in East Texas; to Micayla Medek from Aurora.

The Johnsons got a call from their son. He's now grieving the loss of a friend.

"It's just a big circle, a big group of friends that they knew the one girl, Micayla, that was killed inside the theatre," Tracy Johnson said.

The couple knows the city will face this tragedy together.

"Aurora will be fine," Yvonne Johnson said. "We're strong. It's a strong community."

Their only hope is that the shooting's legacy will be the lives of those who didn't make it home.

"I would hope that they would do the right thing for all of the families and the victims, help their families in any way possible, whether it be medical or mental health support," Tracy Johnson said. "Personally, I'd like to see them turn theater 8 and 9 into a memorial to the victims."

The city will hold a prayer vigil Sunday evening at 6:30.

E-mail mdiaz@wfaa.com

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