AURORA, Colo. (CBS4) – A Filipino-American teenager who was shot and critically injured in the Aurora movie theater shooting is putting his college plans on hold as he recovers.
Ryan Lumba, 17, of Aurora, graduated in May from Eaglecrest High School. He was set to attend Western State Colorado University in the fall, but the shooting derailed those plans.
Lumba was in the Century 16 theater on July 20 for the midnight showing of the Batman film “The Dark Knight Returns” when the man police say was James Holmes shot and killed 12 people and injured 58 others.
The gunman unloaded a full shotgun blast into Lumba’s stomach and he fell to the ground in pain.
“I just remember being on the ground. I see people running and screaming. I’m like ‘What’s going on?’ Then I knocked out,” he said.
While Lumba was in critical condition at University of Colorado Hospital President Barack Obama was among those who visited him. He doesn’t remember the meeting, but his mother Remy certainly does.
“(The president) said ‘Oh, this is the mother. You’ve been through a lot.’ Then he hugged me,” Remy said.
Lumba returned to his home last week and is currently wearing a bandage in his midsection that’s covering his 18 deep and painful wounds.
“I’m so thankful he’s alive. he’s my only son,” Remy said.
When CBS4 interviewed him, Lumba was surrounded by flowers, balloons and the several friends who were at the home visiting with him.
Lumba also showed off a poster signed by his classmates that some high school friends also presented him with. While most of those classmates are heading off to college in upcoming weeks, Lumba still has months of recovery ahead. He said he hopes to start up at Western State in the spring.
“It’s kind of disappointing, but my health is first. I have to be healthy if I want to do good in school,” Lumba said.
Lumba says that despite the sometimes agonizing pain he continues to experience, he has no anger towards the gunman.
“He did what he did and he’ll get his own. Karma gets people back,” he said.
Lumba said his long term goal is to become a psychotherapist.
“I’m just getting my strength back each and every day,” he said. “God has a plan for me. That’s why I’m still alive.”
Send donations to:
Ryan Lumba Benefit Fund
Wells Fargo Bank
Account No.: 6635 068 924
Routing No.: 102 000 076
Wire Transfer No.: 121 000 248
Or mail it to:
Ryan Lumba Benefit Fund
c/o Mrs. Remedios Lumba
4456 South Himalaya court
Aurora, CO 80015