Phoenix father remembers son killed in Colorado shooting


by Jared Dillingham

Bio | Email | Follow: @JaredDillingham

Posted on July 23, 2012 at 10:32 PM

Updated Monday, Jul 23 at 10:33 PM

AURORA, Colo. -- The father of an Arizona man killed in Friday's mass shooting at a Colorado movie theater called the suspected gunman, James Holmes, "a coward."

Tom Teves of Phoenix made the comments after sitting in the front row of the court room at Holmes' initial court appearance on Monday.

"I wanted to see what he looks like. He really doesn't look like much," said Teves, whose 24-year-old son, Alex, was among the victims. "I just wanted to see [the suspect] and have him know people care and aren't afraid of him."

Alex Teves died shielding his girlfriend from bullets. With his master's degree in psychology, Alex was working as a counselor and planning to get his degree in physical therapy.   

Teves is a graduate of Desert Vista High School in Phoenix, where he's fondly remembered for wearing a white T-shirt and jeans every day.

"All the kids noticed and dressed like him on what they called 'Teves Day,'" said Spanish teacher Maggie Fountain.

"It just shows how everyone was drawn to him," added Alex's friend, fellow Desert Vista grad and University of Arizona roommate Ryan Cooper.

"We used to love going to games together, but he would take time and miss games to mentor kids in the community who didn't have dads," Cooper said.

"He really just  wanted to help people," Tom said. "I challenge you to find someone who'd say a bad word about him."

The family is planning memorial services in Arizona and New Jersey.