John Larimer died saving the lives of two others

  • John Larimer, a Navy intelligence officer and Crystal Lake native, was killed by a mass shooter in a Colorado theater after he likely saved the lives of his date and the man sitting next to him.

    John Larimer, a Navy intelligence officer and Crystal Lake native, was killed by a mass shooter in a Colorado theater after he likely saved the lives of his date and the man sitting next to him. Courtesy of Kathleen Larimer

 
By Kathleen Larimer
Special to the Daily Herald
Updated 9/16/2017 7:45 PM

My son John died saving the lives of two others.

The young woman he was with at the theater told the media shortly after the shooting that John, "immediately and instinctively covered me and brought me to the ground in order to protect me from any danger."

 

We learned during trial testimony that John also pulled the young man on his other side down behind the seats. They escaped injury, and John was shot twice.

John was born in 1985, the youngest of five children. Nora was born in 1979; identical twins Anne and Beth in 1981; and his brother Noel in 1983.

John was very smart, funny and a whiz at trivia. He participated in Future Problem Solvers in middle school and did drama and Academic Team at Crystal Lake South High School.

A petty officer third class, he was fourth generation Navy, following his great-grandfather, grandfather, father and older brother.

John attained the highest score possible on the Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery, and he had a 99 percent accuracy rating on the reports he was submitting to Naval Information Operations Command. He enlisted because the military didn't need officers with his college degrees of history and political science.

A few months after he started working at Buckley Air Force Base in Aurora, Colorado, the Navy encouraged him to apply for officer candidate school because of how well he worked with the others in the command. After his death, they created an honor in his name.

It is called the John T. Larimer Mentoring Award.

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