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6-year-old girl confirmed to have been killed in Colorado theater shootings

Annie Dalton confirms that her great-niece, Veronica Moser, 6, was among those killed Friday's Colorado movie theater shootings.

Updated at 3:39 p.m. ET: As victims and relatives began to return Saturday to the theater where a gunman killed 12 people in Aurora, Colo., a 6-year-old girl was confirmed to have been among the victims.

M. Alex Johnson is a reporter for NBC News. Follow him on Twitter and Facebook.

Veronica Moser, 6, died in the shooting rampage Friday morning, her great-aunt, Annie Dalton, told NBC News.

Fifty-eight other people were injured in the shootings. Twenty-eight remained in area hospitals Saturday afternoon, seven of them in critical condition. James Eagan Holmes, 24, a graduate student at the University of Colorado-Denver, was arrested outside the theater, clad in black body armor and armed with three weapons.

Veronica's mother, Ashley Moser, 25, was shot in the throat and the abdomen. She remains paralyzed in critical condition and hasn't been told of her daughter's death, Dalton said.

"This is just a nightmare right now," Dalton said. "It's a nightmare.

"Eveything's surreal. It's just surreal."


People who attended the midnight screening of "Batman: The Dark Knight Rises" were allowed to return to the theater Saturday to retrieve their automobiles, which were left behind during the evacuation and subsequent investigation. Some of them left flowers and flags as tributes.

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Military authorities identified two victims Saturday, confirming that Petty Officer Third Class John Larimer, 27, Air Force reservist Jesse Childress, 29, assigned to the 310th Force Support Squadron at Buckley Air Force Base in Aurora, died from their injuries sustained in the shootings.

The Arapahoe County Coroner's Office confirmed the identities of 11 fatalaties and tentatively confirmed the 12th who died in the shooting rampage and its aftermath. 

 

In Colorado and across the country, friends and family members of missing moviegoers anxiously awaited word on their loved ones, hoping for good news but fearing the worst.

The final bodies were removed from the theater a little after 5 p.m. Friday (7 p.m. ET), Aurora police chief Dan Oates said. He said police met with about 70 family members and friends to give an accounting of bodies that had been identified.

Police said families of the dead were being notified Friday night.

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'It just lit up the theater'
Survivors said gunman was calm and purposeful as he opened fire from the front of the theater about 12:39 a.m. (2:39 a.m. ET).

"He shot once, and it just lit up the theater," said Pierce O'Farrill, who was attending the film with a friend. O'Farrill was wounded in the shoulder and the leg, and friend was also shot. Both are expected to survive.

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"He cocked and shot again," O'Farrill said. "At that moment, I grabbed my buddy, and we just hit the deck you know. I said, 'Get down! We have to get down!' And so I just buried my head down just in the aisle and just started to pray."

Stephen Barton and a friend were driving across the country from Connecticut and happened to be in Aurora when they decided to take in the "Dark Knight Rises" opening. Barton was wounded in the shoulder.

"At the time, I thought it was still fireworks. Then I got hit here," he said, pointing to his shoulder, "and then I realized it was something much more serious. And then people started screaming. There was a lot of chaos."   

Patricia Legarreta of Denver, who was attending the movie with her fiancé and her two young children, suffered shrapnel wounds in her leg.

"There was a moment when the shooting stopped and I saw people running, and at that moment I just grabbed the baby and I just grabbed my daughter, just got out as fast as I could," Legarreta told NBC station KOB of Albuquerque, N.M. Legarreya recently moved to Denver from Espanola, N.M., where most of her family lives.

"I was thinking: 'We just gotta get out. I just gotta get out the doors, and if I fall dead just get my kids out of here," she said.

"It was just so horrible."

Aurora is a suburb less than 10 miles east of Denver, with a population of about 333,000 people. It is just 15 miles northeast of Columbine High School in Littleton, scene of a 1999 massacre in which two gunmen killed 12 fellow students and a teacher and wounded 26 other people before killing themselves.

The Red Cross set up a Safe and Well list where victims can list themselves to let their relatives know they're alive. You can view the list here.

Elizabeth Chuck, Leanne Gregg, Zoya Khan and Marian Smith of NBC News and Chris Jansing and Dax Tejera of MSNBC-TV contributed to this report.

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