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    Posted July 20, 2012 by
    Aurora, Colorado
    This iReport is part of an assignment:
    Colorado movie theater shooting

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    The Darkest Night


    CNN PRODUCER NOTE     Adam Witt says he was sitting in the back of the theater with his wife watching the movie, "The Dark Knight Rises" when canisters were thrown in the theater and smoke started spreading through out the area. He says the smell of the smoke reminded him of something you would smell from a Fourth of July smoke bomb. Before he realized it, the sound of shooting echoed throughout the theater. It took a few shots before he realized what was happening. He felt a stinging sensation on his left arm as he and his wife ducked underneath their seats. 'We might have been there for 30 seconds or a minute, it was hard to tell time at that moment,' he says.

    When the shooting stopped he and his wife ran for the emergency exit that was situated in the back of the theater. 'There were so many people running. I didn't look back. I just remember getting up from the floor and shouting "we have to run,"' he says. He and his wife held each other's hands as they rushed out of the theater. 'There was a moment where I lost her hand, but I grabbed her shirt. We didn't let go of each other.'

    After he had left the theater, he noticed a scrape on his arm. 'I don't know if it was a bullet, or scrap metal,' he says. 'But it made me think about what might have happened if I died, I'm extremely sad for those who did. I've never been in that kind of situation before,' he says.

    Witt's essay recounting what happened that night is nominated for an iReport Award in the Breaking News category.
    - Jareen, CNN iReport producer

    The movie was just beginning to get interesting. My wife and I had been waiting for months to see the Dark Knight Rises, and we were finally here, enjoying it.

    It's unfortunate that we were in Theater 9.

    The first thing I noticed was a hissing sound coming from the left side of the theater. I noticed people beginning to react in the area. I knew something was wrong.

    Then the gunshots began. A sudden flash of light and loud bang from the right side of the screen. Then another, and another. There must have been 20-30, at the least. At first glance they looked like fireworks or something, perhaps a prank. After a few shots, it hit me very quickly what was happening.

    I hit the floor and hid behind the seats in front of me, pulling my wife down to hide with me. It was the longest minute of my life. The gunshots just kept coming. I knew it could be over any second. I knew my wife could be gone any second. It was absolutely surreal. I felt something hit my left arm, and my first though was "at least it's just my arm".

    Once the gunfire subsided for a bit, people began to run to the exits en mass. I took my wife by the hand and we booked it for the back door, trying to breathe through the gas that now permeated the room.

    We bolted out the doors and down the stairs, though the lobby and out the door. All the while, hearing people screaming, crying, panicking, and screaming for their children.

    Reaching the parking lot, the police cars were already piling in and surrounding the area. My arm was only slightly nicked and didn't require any attention. My wife was untouched.

    The entire ordeal was completely surreal, and entirely horrifying. My mother informed me that someone had been watching over me, and all I could say is that I wish that those good people who passed away could have had the same protection. My heart goes out to their families and loved ones, and I dearly hope that the madman responsible for this is brought his justice.

    I will never have the same outlook on life again.
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