Despite the devastation and destruction of the now-infamous Aurora movie theater shooting in Colorado, stories of heroism and courage managed to emerge.
Three of the fatal shooting victims died protecting the lives of their girlfriends. Jon Blunk, Matt McQuinn, and Alex Teves reportedly used their bodies as shields to protect their girlfriends from the bullets of killer James Holmes.
The New York Daily News reported, "Blunk's girlfriend, Jansen Young; McQuinn's girlfriend, Samantha Yowler; and Teves' gal pal Amanda Lindgren made it out of the bloodbath--but they would have been killed had it not been for the loves of their lives."
Blunk had taken Young to see Friday's midnight premiere of The Dark Knight Rises to celebrate her graduation from veterinary school. When the gunman burst through the theater, Blunk pushed Jansen to the ground and under her seat, and then threw his body on top of her. According to Young, she could feel Blunk holding her tightly.
"There was kind of a break in between each gunshot," Jansen told the TODAY Show. "Every gunshot, I was like, 'This is it--I'm done for.' 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."
It wasn't until the shooting stopped that she realized her boyfriend had been shot. "He's a hero, and he'll never be forgotten," a tearful Young said. "Jon took a bullet for me."
Young was too tearful to continue, so her mother added, "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 had also served in the Navy and recently filled out papers to reenlist in the hopes of becoming a Navy SEAL.
Young's mother said, "To her, he was a hero anyway because he wanted to serve his country. He said that all the time: 'I was born to serve my country.'"
Teves, 24, took similar action to protect the life of his girlfriend.
"He pushed her to the floor to save her and he ended up getting a bullet," said his aunt, Barbara Slivinske, 57, also on the TODAY Show. "He was gonna hit the floor himself, but he never made it."
And Samantha Yowler, 26, survived the horrible tragedy with a gunshot wound to the knee after her boyfriend heroically shielded her body with his.
Witnesses said Matt McQuinn threw his body on top of Yowler's as soon as the shooting began.
The Daily News writes, "McQuinn, 27, and Yowler met at a Target store in Springfield, Ohio, where they worked. They transferred to a Target in Aurora last November."
Colleagues of Matt and Samantha were devastated to learn of the news.
"He was a great outgoing person," said a co-worker at the Colorado Target. "We lost a great person and we still can't picture or realize that he's gone."