AURORA, Colo. (AP) – A midnight movie premiere wasn’t part of their trip, but it sounded like so much fun Bonnie Kate Pourciau and Elizabeth Sumrall decided to fit it in.
The 18-year-old is one of 58 people injured when a gunman opened fire in the Aurora movie theater where “The Dark Knight Rises” was showing. Twelve people died.
Pourciau and her friend arrived in Colorado on Day 7 of a 10-day vacation that began in Seattle and included stops at Yellowstone and Mount Rushmore. They heard about the Batman movie when checking into their hotel. They next day they would be back on the road and headed to Pourciau’s home in Baton Rouge, La.
Pourciau is finally going home Thursday on a medical flight after being shot in the leg. She’s already undergone three surgeries and more are planned.
“When I was down on the floor, crouched behind the seats, we were praying, ‘Lord protect us, keep us safe.’ That’s when I felt the big old bang in my leg. I grabbed Elizabeth’s hand. We prayed for God to preserve our lives,” Pourciau said.
“And He did! I can wiggle my toes. I still have my leg. The presence of God was overwhelming. God was just holding us in His hands.”
From her bed at University Hospital, Pourciau and her parents, Kathleen and Trace, who flew in from Louisiana, recounted the events of that night and the aftermath.
“Bonnie Kate,” as her family calls the sunny high school graduate, has received a stream of visitors, including the patron watching “Spiderman” in the theater next door who helped her out of the theater and the cop at the scene who talked to her mother via cell phone.
She asked him how bad it was at the theater.
“He said, ‘It’s horrible, it’s horrible,’ ” Kathleen Pourciau recalled.
Pourciau, who was home schooled, had already decided to take a year off before going to college. She couldn’t decide what she wanted to do. She bakes. She draws.
Pourciau thought of nursing as a career after spending time in Haiti last fall and this spring, working with exploited children. Although she was seriously ill most of the time during her spring trip, in part because of a virus, she refused to return home.
“She was ‘I’m in my element,’ ” Kathleen Pourciau said. “She loved the little children.”
Don’t miss a special hour long report on CBS4 on Friday at 4 p.m. titled “Movie Theater Tragedy: Remember, Honor Support” which will look back at the week following the Aurora shootings.
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