AURORA, Colo. (AP) — A Colorado State University football recruit and a former Winona State football player were among dozens of people wounded at a movie complex where a gunman opened fire during a midnight showing of the new Batman film.
A University of Colorado football player and a basketball player from Concordia University in Nebraska escaped the carnage, which left 12 people dead and nearly 60 wounded.
Zack Golditch, a 6-foot-5, 260-pound offensive lineman from Gateway High School in Aurora and a Colorado State University recruit, was wounded below his earlobe when a bullet entered a theater adjacent to the one where the gunman opened fire early Friday. Golditch told ESPN.com that he was with about 10 other Gateway football players in both theaters.
CSU sophomore wide receiver David Anderson was with Golditch and was unharmed, according to CBSSports.com.
Carey Rottman, 27, a native of Mequon, Wis., who played football at Winona State and now works for Coors Distributing Co., was shot in his right leg. He was visited in the hospital Saturday by Gov. John Hickenlooper.
Jordan Murphy, a 6-foot-1, 225-pound fullback and linebacker at Colorado, said he was seated in the third row with Andrew Bowers, who plays basketball at Concordia, and two other friends for the showing of "The Dark Knight Rises" when the gunman entered the theater about 20 feet from them. Murphy and Bowers attended Lutheran High School in the Denver area.
Murphy said Bowers, who is 6-foot-7, was injured when he ducked to the floor, cutting his knees and his head, when two gas canisters were thrown by the suspect. Murphy told The Associated Press that a bullet whizzed past his head as he and his friends fled the theater.
Murphy, a 19-year-old sophomore from Castle Rock, Colo., who is sitting out this season after transferring from Colorado State, said he didn't think it was odd when the suspect, James Holmes, entered through an emergency exit and stood there for several seconds.
Like so many others, Murphy figured it was a publicity stunt.
"It was a movie premiere, so people were dressed up like Catwoman, people were dressed in Batman outfits, dressed up in Robin outfits," Murphy said Saturday. "If it was any other movie, it would have been suspicious, but because it was Batman, he wasn't. I assumed it was a publicity stunt because he was trying to look like the villain, Bane. As soon as he threw the gas canisters, I knew it was an attack and immediately ducked down."