Sailor From Crystal Lake Died In Colorado Movie Theater Attack

Updated 7/21/12 at 12:47 p.m.

CRYSTAL LAKE, Ill. (CBS) – A member of the U.S. Navy originally from northwest suburban Crystal Lake was among those killed in Friday’s Colorado movie theater attack.

After Navy cryptologist John Larimer died, family members in Crystal Lake issued a brief statement saying they love him and miss him. They requested privacy and did not speak to members of the media who gathered at the family’s home.

“He was a wonderful young man,” Larimer’s aunt, Karen Lavin, told CBS 2.

She said the family working on a statement to express “what a terrible, terrible loss this is for everyone who knew him.”

A survivor of another mass shooting said Saturday the family must work to overcome their grief in the weeks ahead.

LISTEN: WBBM Newsradio’s Bob Roberts Reports

Harold Ng was an Northern Illinois University undergraduate on Feb. 14, 2008. After ducking bullets and surviving the mass shooting in a Cole Hall lecture hall that day, Ng said he wanted to hide. He said that was understandable for a while, but said it took survivors of the Virginia Tech shooting the year before to find him and tell him that he had to rejoin society in order to heal.

“Somehow get it out. Talk to people about it,” Ng said he was told. “Don’t make yourself think about it by yourself. That’s one of the hardest things to do.”

He said it took a while, but said he finally came to accept that continuing to be a hermit would not help, as painful as “re-entry” was.

“Talking it out really (helps),” he said. “And go on with your daily activities, no matter what.”

Ng said survivors have insights that only they can offer to each other and to victims’ families, and said he wants to pay that forward now, the way the Virginia Tech survivors did in 2008. He said he is hoping to speak with the Larimer family or with any of those who survived the Colorado attack.

The Larimer family believed John Larimer was in the theater when the shooting occurred in Aurora, Colo. early Friday, but it took several hours before they got confirmation from the military.

The U.S. Department of Defense initially would only say three members of the military, including two Air Force members and a Navy sailor, were among the wounded in the movie theater attack. Another sailor was unaccounted for.

Aurora, Colo. police have a 24-year-old suspect in custody.

More from Bob Roberts
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