Aurora Theater Shooting Jurors Want To Raise Money For Memorial

AURORA, Colo. (CBS4)– Some jurors from the Aurora theater shooting trial want a lasting memorial built to remember the victims in the shooting. They are uniting with some of the victims’ relatives to raise money for a memorial.

A gunman killed 12 people during a showing of The Dark Knight Rises July 20, 2012, with many more seriously injured.

The four jurors approached the 7/20 memorial committee wanting to help as a means of giving back. The City of Aurora donated a portion of land for the memorial near Chambers and Alameda.

A map showing the land where the memorial would be placed (credit: City of Aurora)

A map showing the land where the memorial would be placed (credit: City of Aurora)

CBS 4’s Jennifer Brice interviewed the four jurors who are fundraising for the memorial. The jurors were willing to talk about how the trial impacted their lives and why they want to help. They did not want to talk about case specifics or the suspect. They say the memorial is way for them to turn something negative into something positive.

“It was a huge responsibility knowing your voice won’t make the difference or maybe it will,” says Jessica.

The ladies did not want to use their full name as a mean to protect their identities.

Jessica, Mona, Lydia, and Sarah share a unique bond after spending four months on the jury.

Four jurors talked to CBS4's Jennifer Brice (credit: CBS)

Four jurors talked to CBS4’s Jennifer Brice (credit: CBS)

Sarah says she had no idea the impact the trial would have on her life, “I never thought that it would be such a life changer.”

Mona says it was difficult not being able to talk to anyone about what they were experiencing and enduring, “We couldn’t talk to anyone. We had to keep it all in, couldn’t even show emotion in the courtroom.”

AURORA THEATER SHOOTING: Story Archive | Timeline | Remembering The Victims

Not only were these women deeply impacted – in many emotional ways – by the horror that they heard and saw in the courtroom but they are inspired by the victims.

That’s why they’re asking you to help them raise money for the memorial.

Sarah says she and the three other women were having dinner one night and trying to figure out
how to help the families.

“We thought it would be amazing if we could take away the burden of fundraising to complete the garden,” she says. “For us it’s turning something negative into something positive.”

The land where the memorial would be placed (credit: City of Aurora)

The land where the memorial would be placed (credit: City of Aurora)

The 7/20 memorial fund needs $200,000. It has about $65,000 so far. That money will buy art and benches and create a space for the community to remember. Families of theater victims say they were amazed these jurors came forward to help.

Heather Dearman is the cousin of Ashley Moser & Veronica Moser-Sullivan. She met the jurors Thursday during their interview.

“I can feel what they’re going through and they’re doing the right thing because it does help you heal to do something positive,” said Dearman.

Heather Dearman talked to CBS4's Jennifer Brice (credit: CBS)

Heather Dearman talked to CBS4’s Jennifer Brice (credit: CBS)

Jessica, Lydia, Mona and Sarah all say they are receiving counseling in the aftermath the trial, but say the memorial is now a bright spot for them.

Lydia says she changed after the trial, “It tore me down but I’m able to find a positive sight on the memorial.”

There are two fundraising events later this month:

Nov. 14, America’s Bar & Grille at Iliff and chambers. They will donate 20 percent of proceeds during the Ronda Rousey fight.

Nov. 21, all Denver and Fort Collins WhichWich shops will donate 15 percent to memorial fund.

There is also a website where people can donate www.720memorial.org at their convenience.

Jennifer Brice is a reporter with CBS4 focusing on crime and courts. Follow her on Twitter @CBS4Jenn.

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