Stories Of The Colorado Victims: Mom Says Daughter Stood Up To Gunman

As they’re told, we’ll point to some of the stories about the 12 people who died and the 58 who were wounded last Friday when a gunman opened fire at a movie theater in Aurora, Colo. As you see others, please share the links in the comment threads.

— “Mother Says Daughter Stood Up To Holmes.” (The Denver Post)

Reporter Kevin Vaughan writes of Alex Sullivan, 27, “a gentle bear of a man” who was also a friend. Sullivan died in the attack.

“He was the newborn at my wedding, the smiling 3-year-old petting my dog, the 10-year-old hockey star whacking me in the shins as we played in the street, the polite teenager, the newlywed whose hug took my breath away. …

“Today, the people who loved Alex will gather to say goodbye to him. There will be tears. But there will also be Alex stories. ‘We’re going to keep doing it,’ [his father] Tom says. ‘We’ll be talking about Alex forever and ever. There’s no reason to stop — and that’s just the way it’s going to be. … When I hear a new story, it will be a new adventure. I will have met him again that day.’ “

— “Colorado Shooting: The Long Road To Theater 9.” (The Washington Post)

Stephen Barton, 22, just happened to be in Aurora that day. He arrived in the afternoon. The Denver suburb was a stop on a cross-country bicycle ride he’s on with a friend. When the gunfire began, and he was hit in the neck and face with buckshot, he thought to himself “there’s no way it’s going to end here. There’s no way I biked 3,000 miles to come to this theater and get killed in it.”

Barton survived this incredible rendezvous with tragedy. His riding partner Ethan Rodriguez-Torrent was unhurt. The friend they went to the movie with, Petra Anderson of Aurora, has an amazing tale to tell as well. The Post writes that:

“She had emergency surgery, and doctors discovered that the shotgun pellet in her head had traveled through a tiny tube of fluid, a small cavity in her brain that had probably been there since birth. Like a BB through a straw, it apparently carried the pellet through her head without inflicting any serious brain damage. Doctors and friends have said she is walking and talking and expected to make a strong recovery, according to news reports and a Web site set up to aid the family.”

NPR’s Deceptive Cadence blog told Anderson’s story earlier this week.

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