During the midnight showing of Batman: The Dark Knight Rises on July 20, 2012, one of the most brutal mass shootings in American history took place in the Century movie theater in Aurora, Colorado. There were 12 fatalities that night along with 58 injuries. Despite the physical and emotional magnitude of the situation, one victim, McKayla Hicks, who was shot in the face, says this won’t slow her down.
Hicks was in the theater adjacent to the one in which the gunman made his attack when a fragment of a bullet went through the wall, hitting her in the chin. Initially, doctors decided the bullet was unable to be removed due to its positioning to the nerves. However, her oral surgeon decided otherwise, and was able to remove the piece. One might expect such an injury to deeply affect a high-school aged girl’s life – especially in such a tragic situation. But Hicks knows this is a situation that she has to move on from; she can’t let it define her.
“I’ll put it on a necklace and keep it forever,” McKayla told the Deseret News, and added “This won’t hold me back from anything and I don’t think it should hold anyone back.” Only a senior in high school, this young girl’s attitude and ability to move forward after witnessing such a tragedy is extremely commendable.
Other survivors had similar issues. One man, who was shot in the leg, is still living with the bullet inside him. Though he’s still having trouble with mobility, he, like McKayla, knows he has to make the best of it. Though it did put a hindrance on his plans to go to school, he decided just to alter them a bit and take courses from home until he is well enough to attend on-campus. He’s another victim that won’t let this moment, or his injury, define his life.
We can only hope that other injured persons and the families of the deceased victims can find such positivity. Other victims include Matt McQuinn, who saved the life of his girlfriend that fateful night at the cost of his own, and Jon Blunk, who did the same. Veronica Moser-Sullivan was another victim, at only six years old, who was attending the showing with her mother, Ashley Moser, who is still recovering from the injuries she withstood. These are just to name a few, and as the surrounding community, it’s important to remember that your support is what assists the victims and their friends and families through these trying times.
Author Byline: Sara Klemowitz is part of an elite team of writers who have contributed to hundreds of blogs and news sites.