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October 22, 2014

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Senate observes moment of silence in honor of Colorado shooting victims

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associated press

The U.S. flag flies half-mast at the U.S. Embassy in Manila, Philippines on Sunday July 22, 2012. U.S. President Barack Obama ordered that flags be flown at half-staff on federal buildings in honor of those killed in the shooting rampage at a Colorado movie theater.

Sen. Harry Reid led the Senate in a moment of silence Monday afternoon for the moviegoers who died in a horrific shooting in Aurora, Colo., last week, making special mention of one of the victims who hails from Reno.

Jonathan Blunk, 26, is credited with saving the life of his girlfriend, Jansen Young, by diving over her when James Holmes allegedly burst into a movie theater screening a midnight showing of “The Dark Knight” and began shooting into the crowd.

Blunk, a Navy veteran, graduated from Hug High School in Reno. His two young children and his wife Chantel Blunk, from whom he is reportedly estranged, still live in Nevada.

“My heart goes out to his loved ones, and to all the victims and their families, as they struggle to make sense of the senseless,” Reid said of Blunk on Monday. “Friday’s events were a reminder that nothing in this world is certain and that life is precious and short.”

Many other members of Congress who spoke on the floor Monday paused to remember the victims of the Colorado shooting. Nevada Senate candidates Shelley Berkley and Dean Heller both expressed their condolences for the victims and their families in statements last Friday.

Holmes, who is accused of having plotted the rampage that killed a dozen people and injured 58 others, also made his first appearance in a Colorado court on Monday. He will be formally charged on July 30.

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