Elmira/Corning Regional Airport

Colorado Shooting Victim Speaks

Victims are still in shock over last Friday’s shooting in Aurora Colorado and one victim still recovering from gunshot wounds.

Colorado Shooting Victim Speaks
 

July 23, 2012

Twin Tiers (WENY) - Victims are still in shock over last Friday’s shooting in Aurora Colorado and one victim still recovering from gunshot wounds. One of those victims is the 2012 Syracuse valedictorian was shot in the neck. Stephen Barton graduated Syracuse three months ago. He and a friend were a month and a half into a cross country bicycle ride, when they decided to see the new Batman movie in Aurora Colorado, never imagining how that night would end. It could be months before Stephen can finish his cross country ride, and when he does, he'll start from the parking lot of the century theater.

     “The thing that will stick out in my mind the most is the flashing of the gun in the corner of the theater,” says Barton.

     That image is something most of us can only imagine, but the fear; that's something Syracuse graduate Stephen Barton will never forget.

     “I was wondering if I was about to die and immediately after that the thought crossed my mind that now is not the time to die its way to soon.”

     For the past two months Stephen and a high school friend have been biking cross country. They decided to stop in Aurora where they bought tickets to the midnight showing of the “Dark Knight Rises”.

     “The atmosphere in the movie was a lot of fun people were cheering when the previews came on there was a lot of enthusiasm everyone was excited to see the movie.”

     Stephen says he then saw smoke fly across the room, and thought it was a prank.

     “The firing started at the front of the theater and even then I just saw the flash of the gun and I thought it was still fireworks.”

     He was shot in the neck and shoulder. One bullet missed his Corotid artery by millimeters. Now, he has a new appreciation for life.

     “It's amazing to get support from my family but also strangers that have reached out. Its been really touching and I’ve been humbled and flattered by the whole experience.”

     Stephen's injuries are not life threatening but he has lost some movement in his left arm. He says he wants to finish the bike trip to raise money for other victims and their families.