Survivors of Aurora shooting gather for Nashville convention - KPLC 7 News, Lake Charles, Louisiana

Survivors of Aurora shooting gather for Nashville convention

NASHVILLE, TN (WSMV) -

A dozen survivors of the mass shooting in a Colorado movie theater are in Nashville this week as the one year anniversary of the tragedy approaches.

The group is attending an annual convention for the organization Friends: The National Association of Young People Who Stutter. While the convention this year is in Nashville, last year it was in Denver.

And in the Denver suburb of Aurora, they went as a group to the movies to catch a midnight screening of the highly anticipated film The Dark Knight Rises.

One person in the group was shot, but each of their lives has been forever changed after that night. And the shared experience that night has also brought them all closer together.

"To me, it doesn't feel like it's been a year," said Gage Hankins, of Ohio.

Hankins, 19, was hurt when a bullet came through the theater wall and hit him in the arm.

"I turned around and I saw the right side of his shirt was already covered in blood," said Steve Ostergaard, of Illinois.

Ostergaard was the chaperone that night, and remembers a frightening scene.

"I was hiding behind the popcorn machine scared half to death, because there were 10 other kids in there that I was responsible for," he said.

Ostergaard carried an injured Hankins into the movie theater lobby, and came face-to-face with the shooter.

"I looked to the left and there was this man standing there trying to reload his gun," Ostergaard said.

You might think after such a tragedy that this group would be too scared to go to another convention or another movie, but that's not at all the case.

"It was one of the most horrifying experiences I've ever had, yet I look back at last year's convention not with fear and sadness, but with gratitude and love," said Melia Schurig, of California.

For more information on the convention visit: https://www.facebook.com/friendswhostutter?id=453405651393817.

In addition to Hankins, Ostergaard and Schurig, the other survivors include Meghan Walton, of Colorado; Ryan, Haley and Pete Ruden, of Iowa; Joe and Brendon Popovich, of New Jersey; Linnea Schurig, of California; Jackson Hankins, of Ohio; and Katie Trakel, of Wisconsin.

Copyright 2013 WSMV (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.

  • Survivors of Aurora shooting gather for Nashville conventionMore>>

  • More Local NewsNewsMore>>

  • Sunrise Kitchen: Marinated Seafood Pasta

    Sunrise Kitchen: Marinated Seafood Pasta

    Friday, May 25 2018 12:11 AM EDT2018-05-25 04:11:30 GMT
    (Source: SOWELA.edu)(Source: SOWELA.edu)
    (Source: SOWELA.edu)(Source: SOWELA.edu)
    SOWELA chef Roy Angelle shares his recipe for Marinated Seafood Pasta on 7News Sunrise. Ingredients:  1 pound uncooked small pasta: macaroni, rotini, small shells, etc.  2 tablespoons Parmesan cheese, grated  1 (8 or 10 ounce) package of grape tomatoes, halved lengthwise  ½ cup purple onions, Julienne   ½ cup scallions, sliced  ½ cup lump crab  ½ cup shrimp  ½ cup crawfish tails  ½ ...More >>
    SOWELA chef Roy Angelle shares his recipe for Marinated Seafood Pasta on 7News Sunrise. Ingredients:  1 pound uncooked small pasta: macaroni, rotini, small shells, etc.  2 tablespoons Parmesan cheese, grated  1 (8 or 10 ounce) package of grape tomatoes, halved lengthwise  ½ cup purple onions, Julienne   ½ cup scallions, sliced  ½ cup lump crab  ½ cup shrimp  ½ cup crawfish tails  ½ ...More >>
  • LaGrange teacher accused of having sexual relationship with student

    LaGrange teacher accused of having sexual relationship with student

    Thursday, May 24 2018 10:39 PM EDT2018-05-25 02:39:48 GMT
    James Gaharan Jr. (Source: Calcasieu Correctional Center)James Gaharan Jr. (Source: Calcasieu Correctional Center)

    A LaGrange High School teacher is accused of having a sexual relationship with a 15-year-old student. James Gaharan Jr., 54, of Lake Charles, was indicted in Calcasieu court Thursday on two counts of felony carnal knowledge of a juvenile, two counts of indecent behavior with a juvenile, computer-aided solicitation of a minor and obstruction of justice. Authorities began investigating on May 15, according to a news release from Cmdr. James McGee, with the Calcasieu Sheriff's Office. ...

    More >>

    A LaGrange High School teacher is accused of having a sexual relationship with a 15-year-old student. James Gaharan Jr., 54, of Lake Charles, was indicted in Calcasieu court Thursday on two counts of felony carnal knowledge of a juvenile, two counts of indecent behavior with a juvenile, computer-aided solicitation of a minor and obstruction of justice. Authorities began investigating on May 15, according to a news release from Cmdr. James McGee, with the Calcasieu Sheriff's Office. ...

    More >>
  • Sulphur assault suspect captured

    Sulphur assault suspect captured

    Thursday, May 24 2018 9:11 PM EDT2018-05-25 01:11:16 GMT
    (Source: Sulphur Police)(Source: Sulphur Police)
    (Source: Sulphur Police)(Source: Sulphur Police)
    Sulphur Police report assault suspect William Micheal Tibbits, Jr., was captured Thursday evening. Mel Estess, Sulphur police spokesperson, says tips led officers to a home where Tibbits barricaded himself inside. He says Sulphur officers and Lake Charles SWAT were on the scene for a couple of hours Thursday, May 24, before Tibbits was eventually taken into custody. Tibbits was considered armed and dangerous following an assault on Lori Lane Tuesday. He's ac...More >>
    Sulphur Police report assault suspect William Micheal Tibbits, Jr., was captured Thursday evening. Mel Estess, Sulphur police spokesperson, says tips led officers to a home where Tibbits barricaded himself inside. He says Sulphur officers and Lake Charles SWAT were on the scene for a couple of hours Thursday, May 24, before Tibbits was eventually taken into custody. Tibbits was considered armed and dangerous following an assault on Lori Lane Tuesday. He's ac...More >>
Powered by Frankly