Full coverage of the shootings at the midnight showing of "The Dark Knight Rises" in Aurora, Colo.

Memorials Continue for Batman Massacre Victims

Most of the 12 people — mostly young adults — killed in last week's movie theater massacre will be memorialized or buried this weekend

By Sam Schulz
|  Thursday, Jul 26, 2012  |  Updated 8:11 PM PDT
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"Dark Knight" massacre suspect, James Holmes, made his first public appearance in court on Monday. The District Attorney discusses the charges, possibility of the death penalty, and the lengthy trial to come.

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Witness Describes Colorado Shooting Rampage

Colorado moviegoer Alex Malono describes the chaos during the "Dark Knight" shooting spree.
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A day after the oldest victim of the Batman movie theater massacre was remembered by his teen daughters and prominent officials, three more victims a generation younger were memorialized.

Micayla Medek, AJ Boik and Alex Sullivan were among the 12 people killed last week when a stranger in body armor gunned them down during a screening of "The Dark Knight Rises" outside Denver.

It was Sullivan's 27th birthday and first anniversary. Medek was a 23-year-old college student, while Boik had just graduated from high school and was soon to begin art school with hopes of becoming an art teacher.

Services for Medek took place at 11 a.m. MT on Thursday at New Hope Baptist Church in Denver, following a viewing Wednesday in Aurora, Colo.

Public visitations for both Sullivan and Boik were planned for Thursday in Aurora, too — Sullivan's from noon to 4 p.m. at the HeartLight Center and Boik's from 1 to 5 p.m. at Horan & McConaty Family Chapel. Boik was remembered at a private memorial service Monday, and his funeral mass was planned for Friday at 10 a.m. at the Queen of Peace Catholic Church.

The massacre's oldest victim, Gordon Cowden, whose two teenaged daughters escaped the theater unharmed, was remembered Wednesday as a "true Texas gentleman that loved life and his family" at Pathways Church in Denver. A separate memorial service was to follow on Friday in his native Austin, Texas.

"A quick-witted world traveler with a keen sense of humor, he will be remembered for his devotion to his children and for always trying his best to do the right thing, no matter the obstacle," his family said in a statement to Reuters.

Among the 150 mourners who attended were Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper, Aurora Mayor Steve Hogan and Aurora Police Chief Dan Oates, The Associated Press reported.

For more information on victims' memorials visit NBCNews.com.

Even as officials paid tribute to victims, they continued to build their case against the suspected killer. They, along with law enforcement officials and lawyers, scrutinized a growing body of evidence in the case against James Eagan Holmes.

The 24-year-old former neuroscience Ph.D. candidate is being held in solitary confinement on suspicion of the Aurora movie theater shooting rampage that killed 12 people and wounded 58 during an opening night screening of "The Dark Knight Rises" early Friday.

Police apprehended Holmes outside the theater after the attack and said the suspect told them, "I'm the Joker." After he alerted them to explosives in his apartment, police meticulously dismantled an elaborate system of booby traps involving a trip wire connected to chemicals and homemade explosives, they said.

Holmes made his first court appearance with a public defender this past Monday — showing no emotion and making little eye contact —  and is expected to be charged next Monday. Police have said Holmes has ceased to cooperate with their investigation.

NBC News reported Wednesday that Holmes had mailed a package containing writings about killing people to the medical school from which he had recently withdrawn as a graduate student. 

Police and FBI agents recovered the package in the mailroom of the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus on Monday, after Holmes told them to look there, a senior law enforcement official confirmed to NBC News.

They recovered the package with Holmes' name in the return address after getting one warrant to search for the package and then a second warrant to open it, NBC News reported. It was unclear how long the package had been in the mailroom, and NBC News' source said the package contained writings about killing people but did not go into any more details.

Also Wednesday, a team of four from the Public Defender's office handling Holmes' case, accompanied by two police detectives, scoured his apartment for 45 minutes to examine evidence.

A criminal defense attorney uninvolved in the case told The Denver Post the team likely had no agenda for the visit. "You just want to get a sense of who your client is," he said.

In the wake of Holmes' limited comments to police and reports of the writings mailed to his former graduate school, attention has turned in the case to questions over Holmes' mental state.

As Holmes' scheduled arraignment approaches, all eyes are on the district attorney, who is believed to be planning to seek the death penalty.

In Washington on Thursday morning, the U.S. House of Representatives passed a non-binding resolution to condemn the atrocities in Colorado, two days after it observed a moment of silence on the floor to memorialize the victims.

Most of the rest of the 12 killed in the massacre will be memorialized or laid to rest in the coming days.

Friday will see a public visitation for John Larimer, the 27-year-old Navy sailor from the Chicago suburb Crystal Lake, Ill., who died shielding his girlfriend from gunfire, from 3 to 9 p.m. CT at Davenport Family Funeral Home in his hometown. His funeral and burial will be private, NBC Chicago reported.

Another visitation will be held for another heroic 27-year-old, Matt McQuinn, who protected his girlfriend and her brother. His visitation was planned for Friday in his native Springfield, Ohio, where his funeral and burial would take place Saturday, the Springfield News-Sun reported.

Services were also planned Friday for 32-year-old mother of two Rebecca Wingo, the New York Daily News reported.

Saturday will see twin memorial services for 24-year-old aspiring sportscaster Jessica Ghawi at the Littleton, Colo., Edge Ice Arena and at the Community Bible Forever New Church in her native San Antonio.

No date has been publicly set for funeral or memorial services for 24-year-old Phoenix, Ariz., native Alex Teves, who died protecting his girlfriend, and for the massacre's youngest victim, 6-year-old Veronica Moser-Sullivan.

Details on a funeral for Jesse Childress, an Air Force staff sergeant on active duty serving as a cyber-system operator, weren't immediately available, either, but NBC Los Angeles reported that he would receive a full military funeral.

Larimer reportedly would, too, as would 26-year-old Navy veteran and father Jonathan Blunk, who served three tours and planned to reenlist. His military funeral was set for August 3 in Reno, Nev., where his estranged wife lives.

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