Jennifer Seeger was sitting with her best friend in the second row of a Colorado movie theater watching a midnight screening of The Dark Knight Rises when a masked man came in through the front exit door.
“He looked like an actor showboating for the premiere and getting everyone riled up. No one thought it was real. Then he threw a gas canister and started shooting at the ceiling and everyone realized it was real. It’s not every day you think someone is going to come in and start shooting,” said Seeger, 22.
The shooter was just a few feet away from her, she said: “He pointed the gun at my face. I was like a deer in the headlights. I panicked. I thought, ‘I’m going to die if I don’t do something.’ So I just jumped forward underneath the chair next to the aisle. I made it through that particular second. He shot the people behind me, and the shells were falling on me and burning me. I heard everyone screaming. I said, ‘Once he’s gone, we’ll crawl up the aisle and get out.’”
Twelve people died in the shooting at the Century 16 theater in Aurora early Friday morning. Police said they had apprehended a suspect identified as James Eagan Holmes, 24. A San Diego woman who identified herself as the mother of Holmes told ABC News that her son may be involved. “You have the right person,” she said. “I need to call the police...I need to fly out to Colorado.”
Seeger said the shots fired in the theater were “relentless.”
“I don’t know how many shoots were fired. Fifty or 60? Someone would get up and he’d shoot them. It was like Russian roulette. He was shooting whoever. There were moms, dads, kids in there. It was very family-oriented. Apparently he shot a 6-year-old and I was like, how did God spare me?”
Seeger said people were running for the door and being told to go back in because the shooter was returning. “He just went up and down the stairs on the left side. Shooting people and reloading. I couldn’t breathe because of the gas. Anytime he came near we just played dead.”
“Finally, once I had gotten to a point where I could get out, I just saw dead bodies everywhere. There was a girl who was lifeless on the stairs. I saw a gentleman who was moaning and groaning. He was bleeding everywhere and I went to go touch his wrist. I have EMT training and wanted to help get as many people out into safety as I could,” said Seeger. “Someone said the gunman was coming back and I ran. The cops came in. I ran out the same door he came in.”
Seeger works at a call center to pay the bills while she studies to be a firefighter paramedic. “Yesterday I did my first portion of testing for firefighting in Aurora. I guess that’s ironic,” she said. Recalling the man she tried to help on the stairs, Seeger said, “I pray for that man and that his family is with him.”