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Witness to Aurora Shootings

Witness to Aurora Shootings

Like so many others who heard news of the Aurora shootings, I wish there was more I could do to offer assistance to the victims and all those involved or affected by this massacre.  I first heard of the shootings when my brother, who lives in the Denver area, called to tell me that his girlfriend and 18-year-old daughter were in the adjoining theatre when the attack occurred.  They witnessed the bullets tearing through the walls, and the bloody carnage of fellow moviegoers who got hit.  They escaped and saw the shooter outside the theatre as they were driving off.  Listen to the 2 minute recording I posted of their story and of the horrors of witnessing this type of event:  http://joanjerkovich.com/2012/07/20/aurora-co-massacre/

Suspect James Holmes, 24, bought his movie ticket just like everyone else.  Once inside the theatre, he opened the exit door and propped it open so that he could access the weapons he had planted outside and arm himself.  He then re-entered the Aurora, Colorado movie theatre wearing a riot helmet, gas mask and bulletproof vest just after the beginning of the midnight opening of the Batman sequel “Dark Knight Rises”.  He released a smoke canister, then began shooting from the front row leaving 12 dead and 59 wounded in the massacre.  The suspect is in custody after being found outside the theatre holding a rifle and a handgun.

Holmes, described as a loner, withdrew abruptly last month from the University of Colorado Medical School, spokeswoman Jacque Montgomery said Friday.  Police were being cautious as they searched his Denver suburb, North Aurora, apartment as Holmes apparently cued police that his apartment may be booby-trapped with explosives.

What causes someone to crack like this? Is the suspect mentally ill, or is he acting as some sort of vigilante?  I’m sure the answers to these and more questions will begin to unfold, but in the mean time, the victims are the ones I want to focus on.  Just as my brother’s girlfriend and daughter will have a long way to go to heal emotionally from just witnessing this event, it will likely be a longer journey for those who were wounded or who were affected by the loss of lives.  Tragic.

While writing this blog I just received a text from my brother with an update.  He tells me that his girlfriend is “just sitting on the floor, in shock”.  I texted back that I will light two candles, one for her and one for her daughter, at the shrine of our Blessed Virgin Mary here in the Catholic Church (honoring their Catholic beliefs as well as my own).  What more can I do?  One feels so helpless in these situations…