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Jul 20, 2012 11:54 AM by Andy Koen

Moments of terror and grief following Aurora theater shooting

Jacob King was with his friends at the Town Center Mall in Aurora when around 12:30 Friday morning they decided to hangout in the theater lobby.

"That's when I heard a loud explosion and that's when either a pipe bomb or tear gas or whatever went off," King said.

A gunman, later identified as 24 year old James Holmes, had entered an emergency exit to theater number 9 and opened fire. King saw the victims pouring out of the lobby.

"That's when I started seeing people that had blood on their shirts, blood on their faces."
He says the wounded were lined up on the sidewalk outside of the theater as officers rushed in.

Not knowing yet whether Holmes had acted alone, dozens of heavily armed officers and police dogs searched the mall.

By daybreak, the moviegoers had been evacuated to an emergency shelter at Gateway High School. It's there that family members, some overwhelmed with grief, learned the fate of their loved ones.

Miguel Corral and Darius Jenardy came to the high school to check on their friend Jose, one of several friends at the theater. They learned he was okay, but the news of what happened is still hard to take.

"It's hard to believe that because, I mean the least place you would expect it is at a movie theater," Corral said.

"It's the 2nd worst thing since Columbine," Jenardy said. "I don't know how he got in to the theater when it's surrounded by police most of the time I just don't know how it happened."

For King and the others who lived through the ordeal, it's been hard to escape the shock of what happened.

"It was pretty shocking, I've never seen really, nothing like that."

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