Aurora Shooting Victims May Get to Revisit Theater

Sep 27, 2012 3:49pm
ap century 16 theater ll 120927 wblog Aurora Shooting Victims May Get to Revisit Theater

Century 16 movie theater in Aurora, Colo. David Zalubowski/AP Photo

ABC’s Carol McKinley & Clayton Sandell report:

For the first time, victims and witnesses of the Aurora, Colorado shooting massacre are being approached about the chance to visit the site of one of the worst mass shootings in U.S. history.

The news comes in an email obtained by ABC News, sent Thursday morning from the Arapahoe County District Attorney’s office to victims.

“The theater remains concerned about the Victims’ and Witnesses’ well-being and is open to the possibility of potential visits to the theater,” the email read. It instructs victims on how to get more information about the potential visits, but there are no dates or times given. The email said representatives of Cinemark, owners of the Century 16 theater, asked the district attorney’s office to relay the information.

Last week, Cinemark President and CEO Tim Warner said the Century 16 will be renovated and reopened sometime around the end of the year.

“We pledge to reconfigure the space and make the theater better than ever,” Warner said in a letter to Aurora mayor Steve Hogan.

Don Lader and his wife Jacqueline — both former Marines — were in the Century 16 theater watching “The Dark Knight Rises” the night alleged shooter James Holmes opened fire. They have lobbied Cinemark and city officials for a chance to go back inside.

“It is going to be trying, but I think it’s something we have to do as part of the healing process and being able to move on,” Don Lader told ABC News.

Holmes, a former graduate student at the University of Colorado, is currently in jail awaiting trial. Police say he opened fire in the crowded theater in the early morning hours of July 20, killing 12 people and wounding 58. His defense team has said Holmes is mentally ill.

Diedre Brooks’ son Jarell has endured multiple surgeries to repair damage after being shot in the left thigh. She said she believes Jarell, 19, is too traumatized to go back in to the theater, which, she says, should never reopen.

“I don’t like it,” she tearfully said. “They can’t just open that theater up like nothing ever happened. They should make a memorial out of it.”

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