An Irish-American barman has been named as one of the 12 victims of the Dark Knight massacre in Colorado.

Alex Sullivan, a married 27-year-old, was celebrating his birthday at the movie theatre when James Holmes opened fire.

He died just two days before his first anniversary of his marriage to Cassandra in Rochester, NY.

His distraught family had waited anxiously for news of Alex’s whereabouts before his death was confirmed late on Friday night.

A statement issued on their behalf said: “The Sullivan family lost a cherished member of their family today.

“Alex was smart, funny, and above all loved dearly by his friends and family.”

The New York Daily News reports that the Sullivan family became a symbol of the tragedy enveloping Aurora when they were captured in an anguished embrace by an AP photographer as they waited for news outside Gateway High School.

Dad Tom Sullivan, wearing a T-shirt with a quote from WB Yeats, had shown a picture of his son to the assembled media, asking them if they had any information after friends and family were unable to trace Alex during the course of the day.

As hope dwindled, High School friend Bryan Beard had told ABC News: “There is a reason why he has not responded.”

Just before the movie began, Alex had tweeted: “Oh man one hour till the movie and its going to be the best BIRTHDAY ever.”

Tom Sullivan holds up a picture of his son Alex, a victim in the Colorado shootings.