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

Local Sailor Shielded Girlfriend During Theater Massacre

Crystal Lake native John Larimer shielded his girlfriend during Friday's massive shooting

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    NEWSLETTERS

    John Larimer was in the U.S. Navy and stationed in Aurora.

    A Crystal Lake sailor died saving others during the Colorado movie massacre, his girlfriend has revealed.

    John Larimer was at the Century 16 movie theater in Aurora, Colo., Friday with his shipmates and girlfriend, Julia Vojtsek, when a masked gunman burst into the theater and opened fire. Vojtsek told WBBM radio her 27-year-old boyfriend threw himself onto her and shielded her from the gunfire.

    "My boyfriend saved my life," she told the station.

    Larimer was one of 12 who died in the shooting. He joined the Navy eight years after graduating from Crystal Lake South High School and was stationed in Colorado.

    Aurora Mourns Mass Shooting Victims

    [LA] Aurora Mourns Mass Shooting Victims
    The Aurora, Colorado, community turned to prayer days after 12 people were killed and 58 people were wounded in a mass shooting during a screening of "The Dark Knight Rises." John Cadiz Klemack reports from Aurora, Colorado, for the NBC4 News at 6 p.m. on Sunday, July 22, 2012. (Published Sunday, Jul 22, 2012)

    "He was an outstanding shipmate, a valued member of our Navy team and an extremely dedicated sailor," said Cdr. Jeffrey Jakuboski.

    The military said it will honor Larimer's life, and friends and neighbors in Crystal Lake continue to offer their support to his family.

    "He was a heck of a good guy," said Lloyd Everard, whose daughter graduated from Crystal Lake South along with Larimer. She attended the weekend memorial for the more than 70 victims who were either injured or killed in the massive shooting.

    "She did go to the memorial, and that helped her quite a bit," Everard said. "We have family out in Denver, and she actually went and stayed with them because she was having a tough time."

    At New Beginnings Church in Chicago, Pastor Corey Brooks, who is walking across the country to fight gun violence in the city, offered prayers for all the victims.

    "We pray for every family in Aurora, Colo.," Brooks said. "Right now, God, we pray for every life in Aurora., Colo."

    Rev. Jesse Jackson held a prayer vigil outside the AMC Theater in Streeterville and streesed that a ban on assault weapons needs to be re-estabilshed.

    "People need not just to notice this," he said. "We need change in policy."