Editor's Note: This story on Dixon Patch originally reported that Alex Sullivan underwent surgery and was in a local hospital with his wife. The information came from a friend of Sullivan's who had managed the theater complex where the massacre happened and knew all of the staff. Further reporting contradicted the source's statement that Sullivan was in the hospital. The story also misstated the age of the boy who had reportedly survived the shooting by running out of the theater with his mother.
In the sometimes conflicting developing news reports about a gunman who opened fire inside a Colorado movie theater last night at the premier of a new Batman movie, was one report that Alex Sullivan was shot. Sullivan was there celebrating his birthday.
The report came from Valicia Witte, a 32-year-old Aurora, CO resident, whose circle of friends were at the Century 16 Theater. She is the niece of Patch Guest Editor Debra Dingman. Witte previously worked as manager for the theater.
“Nobody was telling anybody who had been shot or anything over here,“ said Witte, who was getting reports from friends at the scene who had been in the theater as well as theater staff.
“Alex jumped in front of his wife,” she said she had been told.
However, news reports including this one in the San Jose Mercury News confirmed that Sullivan's wife was not with him during the shooting. Sullivan was among the 12 individuals who were killed during massacre at the midnight screening of "Dark Knight Rises," leaving Witte and the rest of Sullivan's friends and family in mourning.
In the wake of the tragedy, stories of bravery have emerged.
Witte said got a text from her best friend that that friend's cousin’s 13-year-old son, Gavin, had saved his mother’s life.
“They had gotten there late and missed the previews but Gavin saw someone come into the theater after them dressed in all this black stuff and it scared him. They were seated when the man jumped up. Gavin grabbed his mom and told her to get down. The man had a gun in each hand and fired all the rounds and then there was a pause so that’s when they crawled to the back of the theater and into a hallway,” she said.
However, Harris reported on the comments section of the Patch: "I used to work with Alex at the Movie Tavern. I was in theater 9, along with my 13 year old (not 8) son Gavin, and my partner. We did not wait out in the hallway. We ran outside all the way to the end of the parking lot, where we got into the car with a couple and their friend and rode with them to their house."
Harris continued: "My son did not grab me, nor did I grab him. He crouched down and ran like hell outside. My partner and I hit the floor and crawled to the end of the isle, then ran out. We also didn't arrive late, saw all the previews, and definitely did not see the shooter "come in after us". He entered through the emergency exit door on the right side of the theater."