A victim of the tragic mass shooting in Colorado Thursday night was from the Phoenix area, according to relatives.
The victim's aunt, Barbara Slivinske, told CBS 5 News over the phone Saturday that Alex Teves, 24, was from Ahwatukee. She said he moved there with his parents when he was about 13 years old from New Jersey.
Teves was a 2006 graduate of Desert Vista High School in the Tempe Unified School District and later went on to graduate from the University of Arizona.
"Alex was a very wonderful, kind, caring person. He had a great sense of humor," said Slivinske, "At one point he grew his hair 10 or 12 inches long so that he could cut it off and donate it to locks of love."
Slivinske also said Teves went on to the University of Denver and just graduated last month from their counseling and psychology program with a masters degree.
"He wanted to help people, and that was a way of helping people," said Slivinske.
She told us Saturday that Teves and his girlfriend were in the Aurora movie theater when the tragic shooting took place late Thursday night.
"He pushed her, his girlfriend down, so that she would be safe and he was getting to the ground but the shots got him before he got to the ground," she said.
Saturday Slivinske said the only way to cope is to take it, "One step at a time, one day at a time," she said, "We will miss him forever."
In a statement issued on Facebook from the University of Denver Saturday, it says:
"It is with great sadness that we share with you the tragic loss of a recent graduate student, Alex Teves, in the senseless shooting at an Aurora movie theater early Friday morning. Alex, a Phoenix, Ariz. native, graduated in June of this year from Counseling Psychology program within the Morgridge College of Education. Our deepest condolences are with Alex's family and friends, including the many current students and faculty who knew and worked with Alex."
Also inside the theater with Teves was his friend Caitlin. Her chilling tweets about the shooting started at 12:37 a.m. where she wrote, "Shots fired in the theater."
Sixteen minutes later, she typed, "Everybody please pray for my friend, Alex" and later in the night her tweet read, "Thank you for your prayers everyone. Alex is still missing."
By Saturday, she heard the devastating news. She wrote, "Alex didn't make it" followed by, "Alex Teves was an Arizona basketball fan, loved Spiderman, was an amazing therapist and died a hero."
Slivinske said Teves' girlfriend was unharmed.
Copyright 2012 CBS 5 (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved
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