Eyewitnesses describe terrifying scene at Colorado theater
Here is a look at some eyewitness accounts of the shooting at a Colorado movie theater, that killed 12 people and injured many others.
Jennifer Seeger, Shooting Eyewitness:
"I thought he was just part of a prop or being theatrical that it was just part of the show, since it was the midnight premiere, I didn't know that he was seriously a bad guy. He came in and he was in full gear cause they have things in the movie like that, where they're dressed up kind of like that and I didn't know and then he threw the grenade or whatever it was of gas and it exploded and there was all of this gas, I thought that was a special effect nobody knew what to think of it and then he shot the ceiling, just straight up in the ceiling and then everybody knew it was real at that point. It was just straight chaos, everybody was starting to scream and run and then he went straight from here to here with a gun in my face, that rifle was in my face and i honestly didn't know what to think, I just instinctively jumped forward and ducked inside the middle of the aisle and just tucked in a corner, after that he was shooting people behind me and i had gun shells falling on my head, burning my forehead, all I smelled was powder and it was really terrifying and i was telling my friends just stay still, just stay still, we're going to crawl and get out of here. so, he walks up the stairs and all I hear is just gin shot after gun shot and there was women and children screaming and it was really terrifying. He was a really big guy, he was terrifying, he was wearing a gas mask and he had kevlar kind of suit, he looked kind of like a swat guy."
"He was just shooting at random, people that were trying to run away if they got up out of the aisle, if they dove or anything, he was just shooting, he didn't have an agenda, it was just anybody that was in his way, he was just going to shoot, I honestly can't tell you a time frame but it felt like forever, it was probably like 10 or 15 minutes in reality but it was the most insane thing I've ever seen, there were little kids in there getting shot, like 6-year-old kids, babies even."
Tanner Coon, Shooting Eyewitness:
"The first time I realized what was going on was after the first few shots were fired before that I saw the canister fly across the room and I just thought it was some prank and then I saw the first shot and I thought it was maybe a firework and three more shots were set off and I knew this was real. I knew this was definitely gunshots."
"I was in that theater, he let off 40 plus rounds into the audience, it was a very traumatic, I actually went home after that and later went to gateway to be interviewed by the police but when I was home my Mom was of course freaking out and it was very traumatic."
Darius Harvey, Shooting Eyewitness:
"Once I heard people screaming and yelling get down, I realized the seriousness of the situation. And from there I tried to just help my friends get out. I saw my friends and people that I didn't know get shot."
Austin, Shooting Eyewitness:
"When he walked in, I heard the door open and then the lights came behind him. Then I heard a whooshing sound like a disconnected hose. So then as soon as I heard that, he threw what seems like a smoke grenade. It landed four people away from me and by the time it was done springing and everything, it exploded, it actually was underneath me and my friend. So it exploded underneath our seats. We realized it was tear gas just by the way our eyes were stinging. It was hard to breathe and me and my friend has asthma so it was even harder for us to breathe. We just started hearing gunshot after gunshot. We just kept our heads down. We heard everybody, just keep your heads down, keep your heads down."
"At first I thought it was a prank by the theater trying to get us into more "Batman", because it's the epic conclusion and everything, I thought it was smoke still burning and everything. I thought this shouldn't be happening. Like, I can't breathe, what's going on? You guys should stop it if it's a joke. And then gunshot after gunshot. For the first couple hours after that it was surreal. Like what really just happened? Did that really happen?"
"After all the shooting was done, I looked up for a brief second. I saw he was reloading and walking towards the back of the theater, and it arches up. I just saw he was walking back there. I grabbed my girlfriend and my friend and said we gotta get going, because he's reloading. Now is our chance. Leaving, I saw a guy just lying on the floor, he was covered in blood. A lot of people ran to help him when the guy was reloading his weapon. So we just left and a bunch of people left at that time. It was just, it was crazy."
Corbin, Shooting Eyewitness:
"As I was sitting down to get my seat, I noticed that a person came up to the front row, the front right, sat down, and as credits were going, it looked like he got a phone call. He went out toward the emergency exit doorway, which I thought was unusual to take a phone call. And it seemed like he probably pried it open, or probably did not let it latch all the way. As soon as the movie started, somebody came in, all black, gas mask, armor, and threw a gas can into the audience, and it went off, and then there were gunshots that took place."
Mickey, Mortician, Helped First Responders at Shooting Scene:
"There were at least four or five individuals that I saw that were actually bleeding from different areas. One person was shot in the back in the lower buttocks area, one person was in the arm, another in the leg. It was pretty traumatic. I took about five or ten minutes helping a lady get blood off her face and her body - she was covered in it. I guess, apparently her boyfriend had sustained injuries in the theater."
Lori Schaefer, Shooting Eyewitness:
"My friend, sitting next to me, turned towards me and she ... part of a bullet hit her in the mouth. And she was bleeding through the mouth. She and I ran down the stairs to go to the bathroom, not knowing what had happened. To see what was going on ... a couple guys from our same theater stopped us from going into the main like lobby of the building - saying there was a shooting. And we ran out the emergency exit doors that lead outside. We barely got out there and a whole bunch of other people started running and screaming."
Chris Jones, Shooting Eyewitness:
"We were probably, maybe a good 20-30 minutes into the movie. And all you hear - first you smell smoke - everybody thought it was fireworks or something like that. Then you just see people start dropping. And the gunshots were constant. I heard at least 20-30 rounds in that minute or two. We're just on the floor - I'm with a couple of coworkers - we're just on the floor and just - you know - praying to God we don't get shot."
"All I saw was just the sparks coming from the front right corner of the theater. We got down on the ground so quick - you couldn't see nothing. It was dark still. The lights never came on or nothing like that. Once everything - you know the sounds - the shooting cleared, we just ran - ran up to the top of the theater and ran out. And once we got outside you could see this chaos."
Brittney Jackson, Brought Movie Ticket but Didn't Go:
"I heard the call come in at the nurses station. From what I could see there were people unconscious, people bleeding. I saw one bed go past, poor guy had blood caked all over his face, he just was not responsive at all. Same thing with the lady, they just all out of it. By the time I left I had overheard the nurses saying they had managed to get most everyone stabilized, which is a blessing. It really is. "
Jack, Friend was shot:
"I just thought it was some punks with like fireworks, just like 'do this at the main opening, everybody will notice us' people trying to get attention. He like leaned over me and like, I didn't know he had gotten hurt. I thought he was pretending to hide from the fireworks, because I still thought it was fireworks at the time, then he got up and ran out and he didn't like say a word to me or anything."
Alex M, Shooting Eyewitness:
"I saw at least four, maybe five people that were limping, wounded, slightly bloody. The most that I saw was a girl who was pretty much covered in blood and she didn't have any wounds on her. So, I mean, it kind of, it made me think the worst."