Aurora shooting anniversary brings hope, resolve to victim's mother

Jessica Redfield Ghawi, 24, killed in shooting

By Isis Romero - Anchor
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Jessica Ghawi

SAN ANTONIO - With the upcoming two-year anniversary of the Aurora, Colorado, movie theater massacre, the mother of Jessica Redfield Ghawi, one of the 12 victims killed in the shooting, is celebrating the life of her daughter.

Sandy Phillips has spent the past two years advocating for tougher gun control laws and working to grant scholarships in honor of her daughter.

"Right after Jessi was killed, literally, the next day, my husband and I knew that we were going to be getting involved in this issue somehow," Phillips said. "We know that background checks work. We know that it's stopped over 2 million people who shouldn't be able to buy guns-- felons, domestic abusers, etc. We know it's stopped them, so we know that if we expand those background checks, to online sales and private sales, it's going to save lives."

In addition to working actively with the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence, Phillips has been busy raising funds for the foundation that bears her daughter's name. 

To date, three young women have been awarded the Jessica Redfield Ghawi Scholarship, which is awarded to women pursuing a career in sports journalism.

Phillips said all of the recipients demonstrate Jessica's spirit and tenacity.

"It really does help these young ladies to fill their dreams, because Jessi wasn't able to," Phillips said.

The two-year anniversary of the shooting will be Sunday.

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