AURORA -- Zach Golditch was doing his best not to consider the alternate possibilities of what he lived through early Friday morning at the Century 16 Movie Theaters, located at the Aurora Town Center mall.

The Gateway High School football player, who verbally committed to Colorado State last month, was shot in the neck as the movie, "The Dark Knight Rises" began. What he didn't know was that in the theater adjacent to him, a lone gunman entered through an exit door, threw a smoke bomb and started randomly shooting. One of those bullets went through the wall and hit Golditch on the left side of his neck as he sat with a group of four friends. He said he had entry and exit wounds below his ear lobe and right by his hairline. He was treated at Aurora South Hospital and released at 7 a.m.

James Holmes, 24, was arrested in the parking lot after allegedly killing 12 people and injuring 59 others.

"I was kind of like in the first row where the stairs start to go up," said Golditch, a 6-foot-5, 260-pound lineman, who didn't originally think he'd been shot.

"The movie was going and everything was fine, then all the sudden, it was like some popping went off in my left hand corner, and there was some smoke, so I thought it was firecrackers. Some guy had a hole in his arm, like it blew up right next to his arm. Everyone was like, some idiots are throwing firecrackers inside the movie. Then all I know is I kind of look around, I hear a soft boom beside my ear, and my ears are ringing.


I kind of leaned over to my friend, and I had blood dripping into my hand. I was like, 'Man, I need to get out of here, because I don't want something to happen again.'"

Golditch said he jumped over the seats in front of him and went into the lobby looking for an employee to help him. He said people were running out of the theater, so he went with the pack, out into the mall parking lot and then went to the intersection, where some construction workers came to his aid.

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