7 still critical after massacre
Sun, 22 Jul 2012 6:00p.m.
By Jane Luscombe
Seven people remain in a critical condition after the movie massacre that left 12 dead and 58 wounded in the United States.
Details have emerged about some of the victims, who died as heroes, and survivors who defied the killer.
“Call me. Find my son. Call me!” exclaimed one worried father.
They did, but it wasn't the news Tom Sullivan wanted.
His son, Alex, out celebrating his birthday in Denver, was dead.
While the gunman, James Holmes, was preparing his arsenal, Sullivan, blissfully unaware, was tweeting: "Oh man, one hour till the movie and it's going to be the best birthday ever."
“We're shocked and we're numb and we're sick,” says friend Shelly Fradkin. “Our hearts are broken and we're crushed. We spent the entire day yesterday searching for him.”
Audio has been released of firefighters talking to a dispatcher as details of the shooting came in.
“We're on the scene. We do have reports of multiple victims and an active shooter.”
The dispatcher replies: “[Inaudible] is requesting as many medical personnel as possible to assist with patients there as well. We have two additional engines en route. And we also have a child down outside Theatre Nine.”
One man's wife was shot twice and is intensive care.
But that's not the worst of it.
It was their little girl, Veronica, who the dispatcher was talking about outside Theatre Nine.
At just six-years-old, she was the youngest to die.
“She just wanted to have fun,” says her great-aunt Annie Dalton. “She was what you wanted your six-year-old to be.”
There were two others who you would want your daughter to date.
Both men died protecting their girlfriends from gunfire.
Fifty-eight others were shot and survived, but many will live with their injuries forever.
“Some of the injuries that we're dealing with and that the patients are dealing with right now are going to be permanent,” says Dr Bob Snyder of the Aurora Medical Centre.
Seventeen-year-old Zac Golditch had no chance to duck from the killer. He wasn't even in the same auditorium.
A bullet flew through the wall and hit him in the neck.
“It sounded like a firecracker just went off in the back of my head and I was like ‘man, what's happened’,” says Mr Golditch. “I just kind of fell over into my friend's lap.”
Joshua Nowlan did have time to crouch beneath a seat. But it wasn't enough. A bullet ripped through his arm and leg.
He's safe now, but still can't sleep.
“All I was getting was flashbacks of the shots and the people screaming,” he says.
But he's defiant.
“I beat you, I made it. You didn't take my life and you didn't take my friend's life either.”
Twelve other families wish they could say the same.
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