Navy Officer's Final Heroic Act During 'Dark Knight' Shooting Was One of Ultimate Kindness (VIDEO)

john larimerAs the days go on, details keep emerging about the tragic Dark Knight shooting in Aurora, Colorado. We've heard stories of extreme heroism and stories of extreme heartbreak. Now, another story within this horrible mess comes forth, one of both heroism and heartbreak. The story of Navy Petty Officer Third Class John Larimer, 27, who died while saving his girlfriend, Julia Vojtsek.

Julia, 23, said in a statement that John "immediately and instinctively covered me and brought me to the ground in order to protect me from any danger." She added: "John knowingly shielded me from a spray of gunshots. It was then I believe John was hit with a bullet that would have very possibly struck me. I feel very strongly I was saved by John and his ultimate kindness."

More from The Stir: Theater Shooting Victims Died Trying to Save the Ones They Loved

It's hard to even put into words how something like this makes you feel. Hearing about someone laying down their life for someone else -- especially in the face of extreme violence, where there's no time to think -- is nothing short of astonishing. And it makes you wonder -- it makes me wonder at least -- how you would act if, god forbid, you were in a similar situation.

Not trying to focus on the wrong person here, but I kind of feel badly for Jamie Rohrs -- AKA, the man being dubbed "the father who fled his family." We keep hearing about all these acts of unbelievable bravery from this horrific tragedy, and then we subsequently keep hearing about what a "coward" Rohrs is for leaving his family. The fact of the matter is, most of us, thankfully, we weren't there. And we don't have all the details. Rohrs's story isn't as cut and dried as just up and leaving his loved ones.

I only bring this up because I'm sure people will feel the need to say mean things about Rohrs -- in the comments section and beyond -- after hearing about the inspiring and amazing acts of John Larimer. Why don't we not? Why don't we just focus on how incredible Larimer and his military counterparts are? There seems to be enough crappy things in the world these days, you know?

Pretty unbelievable, huh?



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nonmember avatar autumn brooks

I'm sorry as this was a huge tragedy soldiers just like him lay their life on the line for millions every day so I'm not really sure when something like this happens here it at home it means more.

nonmember avatar NavyWife

Petty Officer 3rd Class is an E4 rank, that's enlisted. Not an officer.

nonmember avatar Renee

I agree, he was enlisted, not officer. But he gave the ultimate sacrifice. My condolences to all the victims and their families.

Katie Hesney Johnson

I agree with NavyWife, he was an enlisted man. 

But what he did and three others tell me that there are still decent, brave human beings out there, even in the face of horrible acts like this. 


Autumn, when you go overseas, you accept that risk. This sailor didn't count on putting his life down on the line for simply going to a movie. Take your negative comments and go somewhere else with them, that was really unnecessary. We all know our soldiers/marines/airmen/sailors put their lives on the line everyday, but when taken out of the field, on leave just relaxing and reacting like that, that is what makes it a little more noticeable. 

Sara Elizabeth Schumacher

I think the fact that he is a military man AT ALL just shows what they are taught in their job. Not many of us are taught to lay on top of someone else to shield them from possible gun fire. I think his bravery was instilled in him and just instinct. Amazing instinct that I wish more people had.

nonmember avatar addy

TO "navywife". ONE, has nothing to do with the story, so please respect his memory and don't talk about something that has nothing to do with. and i am a NAVY WIFE, and i dont know why you said that, he is still a OFFICER, a PETTY OFFICER. first you have to know what are you talking about and then say something. AN E4 IS ENLISTED, THEY ARE CALLED THIRD CLASS PETTY OFFICER OR PETTY OFFICER THIRD CLASS,WHICH ARE NOT YOUR REGULAR OFFICERS,WHICH THEY GO BY ENSIGN,COMMANDER,CAPTAIN ETC. so i am sure you are a ignorant NAVY WIFE LMAO

Stephanie Schlaff

RIP Shipmate!!! you made the ultimate sacrifice!

nonmember avatar courtney

I am an Army Wife and as we (all military families) know they go over seas and there is a possibility they will be caught in a crossfire so we prepare ourselves for it or at least try too but they come home where its suppose to be safe for leave and none of us expects this to happen. Its a tragic thing. No matter his rank he is a hero both for protecting our country and most importantly his girlfriend. I admire him. My heart goes out to his girlfriend and his family.

Brandon Beaux Fontenot

It doesn't matter whether or not he was an officer, because he did everything in his power to make sure that the one he cared for most was unharmed. He gave his life to do it. Military or not, he deserves respect. Many people had to die that day just because of the stupidity of one individual.

Alex McCormick Steimer

"AddyNavyWife" and "Addy" (obviously the same person)

Really no need to go throwing around insults. Navy Wife had it right. E-4 is enlisted. They are not officers. That is not important to the article but it was incorrect. What is important is paying tribute to those who saved lives that night. This guy did just that. Pointing out an error in the article is not disrespecting his memory.

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