Aurora, Colo. -- More stories of heroism and bravery are emerging in the wake of the shooting rampage inside a movie theater early Friday morning.
Three of the men who died in the shooting gave their lives to save someone else. Jonathan Blunk, Alexander Teves and Matthew McQuinn all reportedly shielded their girlfriends from the attacker's bullets inside the movie theater.
None of them was older than 27. They've become heroes in death, but their bravery doesn't surprise the people who knew them best.
"Johnny was the type that always wanted to be a hero, help anybody in any way he can," Chantel Blunk, his former wife. "He always wanted to make people smile and laugh. He was always very optimistic and outgoing, spontaneous, always trying to do anything crazy and dangerous.
"So when we heard that it was him trying to save somebody, everybody just knew that was Johnny. That was the type of person he was."
Blunk was a hero in life, too. The 26-year-old served in the Navy for five years.
McQuinn was shot three times and died in the theater, after protecting his girlfriend. His stepfather is struggling with the loss.
"It's not surprising to me that his first thought would be her," David Jackson said. "That's what a man does. He protects his loved ones. I'm very proud of him. I'm going to miss him."
Some of the heroes survived -- and one was even younger than the three men who died as protectors.
Kaylan, whose family has asked us not use her last name, is 13 years old. She went to the movie with family and friends, including 6-year-old Veronica Moser-Sullivan.
Veronica was hit, and in the middle of the rampage Kaylan tried to give her CPR.
"It's horrifying picturing in my head what I saw that night," Kaylan said.
Veronica died, which is something Kaylan might never shake.
Josh Nowlan was trying to save lives, too. He's a 31-year-old Navy veteran who's been deployed to Iraq twice. He never imagined his life would be in danger in a movie theater.
The father of two is in the hospital recovering from being shot as he was laying on top of two friends in order to keep them safe.
"Yes, I am glad I am alive and I get to see my kids," Nowlan said. "But then I also think about the other people that didn't [survive]. There were kids, mothers and fathers that were there. And they're dead."
WFMY News 2/CBS/CNN