Dark Knight shooting hero Alex Teves, who lived in Verona until his family moved to Phoenix 11 years ago, was cremated Tuesday, his family told several news outlets.
Teves, 24, was with his girlfriend Amanda Lindgren at the Aurora, Colo. movie theater last Friday when the shooting began at the premiere of “The Dark Knight Rises” and he pushed her to the ground before throwing himself on top of her when gunman James Holmes opened fire.
Twelve people were killed and 59 injured in the incident.
A memorial service for Teves will be held in New Jersey, but not right now, Teves’ aunt Barbara Slivinske of East Brunswick told The Star-Ledger.
“At this point, it probably won’t be for a few weeks,” she told the newspaper Thursday afternoon.
Alex’s father, Tom Teves, was returning today from Colorado to his home in Phoenix, where his son graduated from high school and attended college.
Since the shooting, the father has been among the most prominent of victims’ parents. At a court appearance Monday for the accused shooter, James Holmes, he sat in the front row, glaring at the 24-year-old man.
The father has since said guns are too easily accessible and that a lack of tighter controls is partly to blame for the shooting and its scale. And he attacked the media, saying some coverage has focused too much on Holmes and too little on the victims.
“It’s awful and it’s senseless,” he told Anderson Cooper on CNN. “So someone took a gun and shot a 6-year-old girl — why are we talking about that person?”
Teves told the Associated Press his wife did not get a chance to say goodbye before their son was cremated because he didn't want her to see the badly wounded body.
Verona neighbors described Alex Teves as a nice boy and a good student who loved Star Wars.
Mitch Martin purchased his home from the Teves family in 2001 and has lived in the house ever since.
“I spoke to them about moving to Phoenix and all the usual anxieties that come with moving across the country,” said Martin. “They were very nice people and seemed like very good parents.”
Martin recalled his conversations with Alex’s mother the safety of her children was her main concern regarding the move.
“It's absolutely painful to have that memory of the family,” said Martin. “They were so concerned about their children's safety. To have this happen is crushing.”
"He was one of the kindest kids who always gave of himself," Teves told the Arizona Republic. "You won't find anyone who has a bad word to say about him, and that was true even before he died."
"Alex had the heart of a lion," his father said. "He had a heart of gold, too. He marched to the beat of his own drummer. He never was concerned about being cool."
Teves added: "At 18, he was a better man than I am at 52. Even in death, he is teaching me."