SU grad Stephen Barton is recovering in a Colorado hospital after being shot in the Aurora theatre early Friday morning.
Barton and a friend were biking cross country, on their way to San Francisco from Connecticut, and going to the Batman movie was a last minute decision. He was hit in the neck, and taken to the hospital in the back of a police patrol car. He says he knows that just a couple millimeters difference would have meant a different outcome for him. Instead, amidst smiles, he shared some of his thoughts on the shooting attack:
"There started being the muzzle flash of the gun, which at the time I thought it was fireworks and then i got hit here (in the neck) and then I realized it was something much more serious, and then there was screaming and chaos."
"I actually, definitely thought more people would be dead just because he had this high powered shot gun and other guns, it seemed that he was just spraying the center of the theater."
"You know, the thought crossed my mind that he was going to walk up the aisles and kill everyone, so there was definitely a moment when I thought wow, this really might be the end"
"He was just unloading into the crowd. it seemed to me to be very purposeful and methodical."
Stephen Barton was a commencement speaker at Syracuse University in May. He graduated as a triple major in international relations, economics, and Russian language, literature and culture.
Barton ended his SU speech by saying, "Strive to fill your lives with memories as genuine and joyful as those that will be made today. And donâ??t forget, take plenty of pictures along the way."
To see more of his pictures, including the shot of the Dark Knight ticket, which he sent at 12:05am on Friday,
check our previous story.
Also recovering from the shooting incident is Lucas Smith, a Denver-area resident who was at the movie with his wife Heather. He's the son of North Syracuse pastor Monte Smith, who says his son was hit 8 times in the leg and lower abdomen. Lucas is now at home recovering, and is expected to begin walking again in 2 weeks.