This is Jessica Redfield.
She was a blogger and aspiring sportscaster from Texas. She was a hockey fanatic, who was a regular contributing commentator for BustedCoverage.com, a sports/entertainment website. (Her birth name is Jessica Ghawi. She writes/tweets as “Redfield”)
In addition to being something of a social media guru, Jessica was also actively involved in social causes. She interned for the You Can Play Project in Denver, an LGBT organization that “supports fairness and equality in the locker room”. Jessica was also involved with an organization that collected hockey gear donated by local teams and gave it to families who had lost their homes during Colorado’s recent wildfires.
Jessica Redfield was present in Toronto earlier this summer, when a gunman opened fire at the Eaton Centre shopping mall. Jessica miraculously escaped this shooting, which left two dead and several wounded.
According to the blog that she regularly updated, Jessica decided to eat a burger for lunch that afternoon at the Toronto mall. She wrote of getting a “weird feeling” in her stomach immediately afterward, and going outside for some fresh air. As she was stepping outside the mall, just THREE minutes after purchasing her burger, a gunman opened fire inside the food court. Jessica Redfield was lucky enough to escape with her life.
This experience fundamentally changed Jessica, causing her to realize how fragile life on Earth truly is, and strive to appreciate every waking moment just a little bit more.
Jessica wrote about the experience in her blog, quoted below:
"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. For one man, it was in the middle of a busy food court on a Saturday evening.
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.
I feel like I am overreacting about what I experienced. But I can’t help but be thankful for whatever caused me to make the choices that I made that day. My mind keeps replaying what I saw over in my head. I hope the victims make a full recovery. I wish I could shake this odd feeling from my chest. The feeling that’s reminding me how blessed I am. The same feeling that made me leave the Eaton Center. The feeling that may have potentially saved my life.”
This quote came from the last blog post Jessica would ever write.
Jessica Redfield moved to Denver, Colorado a year ago. She had been working as an intern for the FM radio station 104.3 The Fan.
Last night Jessica joined several thousand of her peers across the country, and waited in a long line for a ticket to see the midnight premier of the new Dark Knight Rises film.
As the movie played, 24 year old James E. Holmes entered the theater, released tear gas, and began firing at-random into the large crowd.
Jessica Redfield, survivor of last month’s Toronto mall shooting, was shot and killed last night in Aurora, Colorado.
I didn’t know this girl. I will never have the chance to. But her story is not something I will ever forget.
Rest in peace, Jessica.
There truly are no words.
[Tidbits of info taken from Detroit Free Press]
[Photo Credit: Denver Post]
[Excerpt from Jessica’s Blog: A Run On Of Thoughts]