LUFKIN, TX (KTRE) - Three Lufkin residents are mourning the loss of a relative who was killed in the Colorado theater shootings last week.
Jonathan Blunk, 26, is the paternal grandson of Kay and Thomas Blunk and the nephew of Scott Blunk. All three live in Lufkin.
According to an MSNBC.com report, Blunk was shot to death while protecting his girlfriend. His girlfriend told NBC News that Blunk pushed her to the ground when the shooting started at the Aurora theater and kept her from getting hit from a bullet. When his girlfriend managed to get out from under him, she could see he was dead.
Blunk is a Navy veteran, according to MercuryNews.com.
Sitting at her kitchen table in Lufkin, Kay Blunk is creating a cross from petrified wood. It will be buried alongside her grandson, Jonathan Blunk, a victim in the Aurora movie theater shooting.
"He wanted to die in battle and unfortunately the battle chose him," said Kay Blunk, Jonathan's grandmother.
News that his life had been cut short didn't come until Friday afternoon.
"He had gone to the theater and that nobody had heard from him and he'd not shown up for work," said Blunk.
She calls Jonathan "the Light of Her Life," helping raise him until he was five years old. When, Kay and her husband Thomas moved from Colorado to Lufkin, Jonathan would spend his summers here.
"He was full of joy you never saw him without a smile on his face," said Blunk.
The 26-year-old served five years with the U.S. Navy. Two tours of duty in the Persian Gulf and as an engineer aboard the U.SS Nimitz.
"I knew he could take care of himself I was so proud of him," said Blunk.
The Nimitz group has set up the Blunk memorial fund to support his wife and young children.
While Kay is heart-broken, Jonathan's two children will never know their father. His wife Chant el is trying to help two-year-old Maximus and four-year-old Haley understand it all.
"She keeps calling his cell phone so she can hear her daddy's voice," said Blunk.
Even in a time of panic Jonathan apparently put the safety of others before his own. Kay wants him to be remembered as a hero.
"He saved a young girls life, he laid on top of her and took bullets,God spared other people but He called him home," said Blunk.
The Blunk family is asking that contributions be made to the Blunk Memorial Fund (account number 8966817325) at any Wells Fargo Bank or visit their Facebook page.