PHOENIX - Alex Teves, a 24-year-old man from the Phoenix area, is being identified as one of the victims in the mass shooting at a Colorado movie theater Friday morning.
Teves attended Desert Vista High School in Phoenix but, according to CNN , was living in the Denver area as a recent graduate of The University of Denver. He graduated with a master's degree in counseling psychology.
His aunt, Barbara Slivinske, told ABC15 that he also attended college in Arizona and had plans to continue school to become a physical therapist.
ABC News reports that Teves went to see 'The Dark Knight Rises' with his girlfriend Amanda and a friend named Caitlin.
Teves' father, Tom Teves, told ABC News that his son had blocked his girlfriend from a bullet when he was shot and killed.
His father told ABC that he would do anything to save his girlfriend.
"He always put everybody else ahead of himself and that was typical of his behavior yesterday. He was a hero," Slivinske said. "He was a wonderful nephew. He was a wonderful person. Loving, caring, intelligent, and had a good sense of humor. Everybody loved him who met him."
Teves had "beautiful, thick hair" that he kept short, but once grew it long in order to donate it to Locks of Love.
His aunt also said that Alex used to wear the same thing every day to high school. He would wear clean blue jeans and a crisp white T-shirt, which became a joke amongst his peers.
They had "Alex Teves Day" and everyone would come to school wearing jeans and a T-shirt.
"There was nothing not to love about him," Slivinske said. "It was senseless violence and unfortunately the wrong person died. It's just a shame."
The University of Denver posted on Facebook, "Our deepest condolences are with Alex's family and friends, including the many current students and faculty who knew and worked with Alex," according to CNN.
Mary Gomez, Ph.D., a Counseling Psychology professor at the University of Denver, and one of Alex's graduate advisors, said, "Alex will be remembered as an intelligent young man with a passion for living life to the fullest. Alex viewed life as an "adventure," whether he was participating in the Tough Mudder competition last summer with his friends, doing class projects and presentations with his peers, or interning at a school for special needs students. He was insightful and respectful to his peers and faculty. He was a compassionate and kind person with a great sense of humor who put a positive outlook on all situations. Most importantly, his top priority was his relationships. His loyalty is admirable and he always put his friends first. Alex will be truly missed."
A Twitter feed that appears to belong to Teves' friend, Caitlin, highlighted her hopeful search for her friend in the movie theater following the aftermath of the shooting.
"Shots fired in the theater…" read one tweet, followed by "…I'm outside, one of my friends is inside. No one knows what's going on."
Caitlin, @dingos8myTARDIS, continued to thank followers for prayers as Alex remained missing.
"Alex didn't make it," Caitlin tweeted Friday. "Alex Teves was one of the best men I ever knew. The world isn't as good a place without him."
She describes him as being an Arizona basketball fan and that he "died a hero."
Other Twitter users tweeted notes in memoriam of Teves as news spread that he was one of the victims claimed in the shooting that killed 11 others.
Teves' father told ABC that he had "a heart of gold."
Slivinske said that Teves' parents flew to Denver this morning. They also have two sons around the ages of 16 and 17.
Most of Teves' family is from New Jersey, as he lived there until he was in his early teens, but most of his friends live in the West, so no funeral arrangements have been made yet.
"Devastated is an understatement," said Slivinske. "Who thinks about making funeral arrangements for a 24-year-old? No parent does. It's not supposed to happen."
Below is a YouTube video in which Teves makes a three point jump shot during intermission at the Arizona/Cal game on January 31, 2010 at McKale Center in Tucson.