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Matt McQuinn's last living act was to shield his girlfriend from the hail of bullets sprayed by the gunman behind the Aurora, Colo., multiplex massacre.
The 27-year-old was among the 12 moviegoers killed in one of the worst mass shootings in American history.
His girlfriend, Samantha Yowler, 26, survived with a gunshot wound to the leg and is in fair condition after undergoing surgery. Her life was saved by the quick actions of McQuinn and Samantha's brother.
Nick Yowler, who had joined the couple for the midnight screening of "The Dark Knight Rises," was unharmed in the shooting.
"Both the Yowler and McQuinn families thank everyone for their concerns, thoughts and prayers during this difficult time," the McQuinn's lawyer, Robert Scott said in a statement. "The families ask for everyone to be patient and respect their wishes during this very difficult time."
McQuinn and his girlfriend, both Ohio natives, met as co-workers in a Springfield, Ohio, Target store. They both transferred last November to another Target location in Aurora, near where Nick Yowler had been living for the past ten years, the Dayton Daily News reported.
McQuinn “was a great outgoing person," a co-worker at the Colorado Target super store told The News. "We lost a great person and we still can't picture or realize that he's gone."