RENO, Nev. (AP) -- About 500 people paid their respects Friday at a funeral for a 26-year-old Navy veteran who was among the victims of the Colorado movie theater shooting.
Jonathan Blunk, who served three tours in the Middle East from 2004 to 2009, died after shielding a friend and telling her to stay down when a heavily armed gunman burst into the midnight showing of "The Dark Knight Rises" in Aurora, Colo., killing 12 people and wounding or injuring 58 others.
James Holmes, 24, a former doctoral student in neuroscience, was charged with dozens of counts of first-degree murder and attempted murder in the July 20 attack, one of the deadliest mass shootings in recent U.S. history.
Blunk, a 2004 graduate of Hug High School in Reno, lived in Aurora and worked for a small flooring company.
His wife Chantel, daughter Hailey, 4, and son Maximus, 2, were joined at the full military funeral by dozens of service members.
"Honestly, he was one of those really nice, kind people," said Amy DeGuzman of Bremerton, Wash., his supervisor in the Navy and a pallbearer. "Everybody really loved him. He wanted to help people out."
Blunk was an avid outdoorsman and gun owner.
He had planned to re-enlist in the Navy in hopes of becoming a SEAL after shrinking agency budgets stalled his goal of becoming a police officer, said James Gill of Brighton, Colo., his roommate in the Navy.
Blunk was a certified firefighter and emergency medical technician who spent the bulk of his time in the Navy aboard the USS Nimitz.
"He was a fantastic guy," Gill said. "Everybody was family to him."
Contributions from a variety of sources, including the Reno Aces baseball team and the USS Nimitz, will go toward support of Blunk's wife and children, DeGuzman said.
"These kids will not want," she said. "We want to make sure the family has enough so Chantel can provide for them. She's still in shock, and she's trying to raise kids and they're young."
Blunk's wife and children are temporarily staying with her parents in Reno. She has worked as a model to help make ends meet and hopes to return to school in the future, DeGuzman said.
KKTV firmly believes in freedom of speech for all and we are happy to provide this forum for the community to share opinions and facts. We ask that commenters keep it clean, keep it truthful, stay on topic and be responsible. Comments left here do not necessarily represent the viewpoint of KKTV 11 News.
If you believe that any of the comments on our site are inappropriate or offensive, please tell us by clicking “Report Abuse” and answering the questions that follow. We will review any reported comments promptly.powered by Disqus
Updated: 04/17/2013 - Crossing the finish line is such an awesome moment. It's hard to imagine what it has been like for the runners in Boston.
Updated: 04/09/2013 - Admittedly, there are days that I just don’t feel like working out. But then I met Viola. And if she can make working out a priority at 99, then none of us have any excuses! Here's how she's living a FIT LIFE:
Updated: 04/05/2013 - A look back at that amazing Rockies home opener, 20 years ago! Were you there?
Updated: 04/02/2013 - I love my high heels. But sometimes you've gotta put on the sneaks. This is definitely one of those times!