AURORA, Colo. (CBS4) – In Aurora’s hospital rooms it quickly becomes clear how many more could have been killed in the tragic movie theater shootings early Friday morning.
“The wound was somewhere around here and just a few millimeters there,” victim Stephen Barton said. “I don’t think i would have left the theater.”
Barton says the theater darkness was broken by a muzzle flash.
“At the time I thought it was still fireworks, and I got hit here (touches neck) and I realized it was something much more serious,” Barton said.
“It sounded like a firecracker just went off in the back of my head,” victim Zack Golditch said. “I was like, ‘Man, what is happening?’ So I kind of fell over into my friend’s lap.”
Golditch, 17, went to the midnight movie with the reluctant approval of his mother, Christine.
“I was worried more about curfew than I was worried about someone going into a theater and shooting my son — shooting children — not just my kid, but other people,” Christine said.
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Golditch wasn’t even in the same theater as the gunman. A bullet came through the wall and went through his neck.
“If I had leaned over on my armrest a little bit, who knows where it would have went,” Golditch said. “I’m just grateful to be here.”
Joshua Nowlan ducked beneath the seats trying to hide from the gunman, but a bullet ripped through his arm and leg.
“It’s definitely no type of positive description when it comes to being shot. All it was after that was just pain and agony — just this white burning sensation in my body,” Nowlan said.
But those physical wounds aren’t the only ones he’s trying to heal.
“The first night sleeping here was not very good at all because all I was getting was flashbacks of the shots and the people screaming, and of course my kids were still in my head,” Nowlan said.
He said he thought of his children as he waited for the gunfire to stop and he was determined that the killer wouldn’t kill him.
“‘I beat you, I made it, you didn’t take my life.’ He didn’t take my friend’s life either,” he said. “I pray and feel so sorry for all the other families; you know the other men and women that didn’t make it. I just can’t imagine someone’s life being taken away like that.”
Golditch said his life was probably saved because the gunman’s gun seemed to jam just before he got to the row where he was hiding.