Victims of the Aurora shooting are still struggling to put their lives back together one year after James Holmes’ horrific theater massacre. But one couple have decided to put the terrifying night behind them in the most direct way possible: They’re going to get married on the one-year anniversary of the shooting.
Eugene Han and Kirstin Davis are getting married Saturday, one year to the day after the event that left 12 dead, 70 injured, and changed the couple’s lives forever. The two have resolved to turn what became the worst day of their lives into what will hopefully be their best day.
One year ago, 21-year-old Han and 22-year-old Davis didn’t even know if they’d survive the Aurora shooting. They met in the fourth grade (at church, no less) and started dating three years ago.
They went with three friends to the midnight showing of The Dark Knight Rises. Arriving at the packed theater, they had no choice but to sit in the second row near the very emergency exit that James Holmes entered through.
Once the shooter entered the theater and Han realized what was happening, he grabbed Davis and pulled her to the ground.
“Next thing I know he’s pulling me out of my seat and telling me, ‘Don’t move. Just stay still. Whatever you do, don’t move,” she told ABC News.
Han pushed Davis under the chairs, putting himself between her and the shooter. Han was shot in the hip and the knee.
When he heard Holmes’ gun jam, Han and the group of friends attempted to leave through the exit door the shooter had entered through. Davis helped Han out the door, but not before she locked eyes with James Holmes, who was still struggling with his gun.
“I just remember having my back towards the screen and looking up and down the hallway just a little bit,” Davis recalled. “He was looking up and he was looking at me.”
The group safely made it out of the theater. Han underwent physical therapy and is now able to run again. David recovered from her minor injuries. Nine months after the event, Han realized that it was time to propose, though he had wanted to for some time.
“When the theater shooting happened, that’s when I was like, I really need to do this because you don’t know what’s going to happen after tomorrow.”
He proposed in April, and after she said yes, he talked to her about getting married on the one-year anniversary of the Aurora shooting. Though she was reluctant at first, she eventually agreed.
“I think it would be a good date to have our wedding,” she recalled saying. “That way we can make good memories and start a new chapter of our lives rather than allowing this memory from a year ago to stick with us every single year.”
Though Han and Davis are getting their happy ending (or at least, happy fresh start), other victims are still struggling to cope with the physical and psychological trauma the shooting left them with.
For some, the physical recovery is far from over. But the town is slowly piecing itself back together one year later. “I’ve been amazed at the resiliency of our community and how it’s pulled together. But the pain is still there,” Pastor Chris Hill told The Denver Post.
Congratulations to Eugene Han and Kirsten Davis on their impending nuptial from IQ. For other survivors of the Aurora shooting, our thoughts and prayers will be with you tomorrow.