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Shooting Massacre Victims Girlfriend: Boyfriend Saved My Life

1:22 PM, Jul 23, 2012   |    comments
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CHICAGO, IL (CBS) - A woman from the Chicago area was inside the Colorado movie theater on the night a gunman killed 12 people and wounded 59 others, and she said John Larimer, a Navy petty officer from Crystal Lake who died, saved her life.

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Julia Vojtsek was with a group of sailors at the Century 16 movie theater Thursday night for a midnight showing of "The Dark Knight Rises," and she was sitting in about the middle of the theater with Larimer.

"My boyfriend saved my life," she said.

Gallery: Tweets, real time social media from Dark Knight shooting scene *warning, VERY GRAPHIC content*

Vojtsek, a nurse, told WBBM Newsradio's Steve Miller that once the alleged gunman, 24-year-old James Holmes, opened fire on the crowd, Larimer "Held my head, and protected my whole body with his, and saved me."

Larimer, a Navy cryptologic technician from Crystal Lake, was one of the 12 people killed in the spray of gunfire. Thanks to Larimer's actions, Vojtsek, who is originally from Algonquin, was not wounded.

Vojtsek was in Aurora, Colo., at the time, because her father was there working.

She said she is very sad, and shaken up. She's glad she's alive, but very heartbroken over Larimer's death.

"I'm hanging in there the best I can," she said. "I'm just very, very sad. It's unreal that this happened."

Meantime, Larimer's hometown of Crystal Lake prayed for his family on Sunday, during the worship service at the First Baptist Church of Crystal Lake.

CBS 2's Derrick Blakley reports it was the first chance for the congregation to pray for the victims of the Colorado massacre, especially the young man who called their town home.

Rev. Tony Stepansky, the senior pastor at First Baptist, said, "With the tragedy out in Colorado affecting a family here in our own community, we could not help but to use this time for prayer."

Larimer didn't worship at First Baptist, and no one there knew him, but he graduated from Crystal Lake High School just down the road, and his death touched the entire town.

"We have children in our congregation who go to Crystal Lake High. You know, we have people who graduated from the area schools. So, of course, you're going to maybe feel a little bit more for someone from your own area," First Baptist member Brenda Figielski said.

Flying at half-staff, the giant flag at the Crystal Lake water treatment center symbolized the sorrow of a community.

At the Larimer home, friends brought food and drink, as the family continued to plead for privacy.

Meantime, worshippers held up the family in prayer, both silent and spoken.

"I would ask that you especially ask God's blessing, and God's comfort upon the Larimer family, who is our neighbors," Stepansky said.

Those prayers reached beyond the Larimers and crystal lake.

John Ptak said, "We're praying for all the victims there, and praying for the families of the victims, and the family of the man that did this."

Larimer was youngest of five siblings. He trained at Naval Station Great Lakes, and had been assigned for about a year at Buckley Air Force Base in Aurora, Colo.

His family was in Colorado on Sunday, today, completing the sad duty of claiming his body.

Meantime, Holmes - who was arrested outside the movie theater after the shooting - was due in court on Monday.

More Dark Knight movie shooting coverage:

Pictures: PHOTO GALLERY from the shooting scene

Gallery: Tweets, real time social media from Dark Knight shooting scene *warning, VERY GRAPHIC content*

Suspect: James Holmes: Dark Knight shooting suspect identified, picture

Whole story: At least 12 killed, dozens injured in shooting at Colorado movie theater

Controversy: New Batman movie created controversy, threats before release

Mitt Romney Dark Knight tie? The Bane/Bain name game

Obama shocked: Obama says he is "shocked" by Colorado shooting

Journalist killed: Aspiring hockey journalist among shooting victims

MORE: More from our news partners at KUSA 9NEWS in Denver Colorado

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