Local couple at Colo. movie theater during shooting
BOSTON (WHDH) -- A couple from Dracut was at the movie theater in Aurora, Colorado when gunman James Holmes opened fire on moviegoers Friday. Luckily, they were in a different screening room.
"Cops came flying out and some kid is screaming 'this kid's impaled!’ they're falling down, they're carrying people out," Stephen LaFerriere said.
They were sitting in the theater next to the one where the shooting was happening, and were almost in that theater themselves.
The couple left Dracut on Sunday to move to San Francisco, where the wife is beginning a PhD program.
On their trip, they found a cheap hotel in Aurora; a chance overnight stay that put them one theater away from the massacre.
“As we came out we saw people on the ground, we saw people pale and crying. The horror was that there were kids there. There were families trying to find kids -- there were actually babies in there,” said LaFerriere.
It was the sight of sheer terror Dracut native Stephen Laferriere and his wife Catherine never thought they would see on their cross-country road trip to California.
The trip brought them through Aurora, Colorado where they got last-minute movie tickets online.
“As fate would have it, the room where the accident, the tragedy had occurred was the screening room we were supposed to be in but instead they moved us across the hallway,” LaFerriere said.
But before their movie began, they heard the shots.
“We thought it was sound effects, so when we heard a couple of pops and you heard gunfire everyone just assumed it was the theater next door,” said LaFerriere.
The fire alarms rang out and they were evacuated, thinking it was a prank.
“We thought people were passing out from fear of what had happened. We didn't get the gravity until we were in the car trying to get out of there,” said LaFerriere.
Now he wonders how they escaped when so many others could not.
“Why was it us? Why were we lucky enough to get out? I don't know if it’s survivor guilt or whatever it is. I’m a huge superhero fan, Batman fan, but I’m sure my wife doesn't want to go anywhere near a theater right now,” LaFerriere said.
Bullets did pierce the wall and enter a screening room next to theater number nine, but it wasn't the theater the Dracut couple was in.