AURORA, Colo. (CBS4) – Vigils were held Monday evening to remember the victims of the theater shootings in Aurora on the three-year anniversary of when the gunman killed 12 people and injured 70 others. Now money is being raised to build a permanent memorial at the site.

There’s not much at the location now but it’s already being used for its purpose as families of victims had some private time there Sunday night. Work will begin next year to make it a permanent memorial and some people CBS4’s Jeff Todd spoke with hope it will be completed by next year’s anniversary.

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(credit: CBS)

(credit: CBS)

On the side of the road Monday morning were 12 temporary crosses with names, faces and prayers for those who lost their lives. There were also 70 stuffed animals for each person injured.

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“It’s just the theater in my neighborhood and it just kills me. It just makes me so sad. These people lost their lives for nothing,” said Lisa Marie Carter, who was just one of dozens who came out Monday to pay their respects. “Because it’s the anniversary of when these people lost their lives, and 70 people were injured, that’s just unacceptable.”

She’s hoping something more permanent can be up soon.

“Something that we can go to every year to say, ‘Remember these wonderful people,’ and say, ”I’m sorry they didn’t get to live out the rest of their lives,’ ” Carter said.

The location is just a few blocks from the theater, but the area will soon be transformed.

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Kim Stuart with the City of Aurora shows CBS4's Jeff Todd the location picked for the permanent memorial (credit: CBS)

Kim Stuart with the City of Aurora shows CBS4’s Jeff Todd the location picked for the permanent memorial (credit: CBS)

“We looked at a number of sites with the family members, with the committee, and this is the site they liked best,” Kim Stuart with the City of Aurora said.

Already $25,000 has been raised, but exact plans on what the permanent memorial will look like haven’t been decided.

“A place where the community and those directly impacted by the tragedy can come and find solace and peace and just reflect and be here and take in this serene area,” Stuart said.

“Permanence would be very appropriate in this situation,” Carter said.

Additional Information From The 7/20 Memorial Foundation

The 7/20 Memorial Foundation is embarking on fundraising for the installation of a permanent memorial garden in honor of those who were lost and those whose lives were changed forever by the 2012 theater shootings in Aurora. The memorial garden will be built as part of the Aurora Municipal Center Xeriscape Garden at Alameda & Chambers. More information can be found at

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LINK: Donate To Help Build The Memorial