In the days after the Aurora, Colorado movie massacre, officials are reviewing not only the tragic events that occurred, but also the procedures that were used to respond to the unprecedented crime. Focusing too tightly on the person accused of the heinous acts, James Holmes, leaves many people feeling depressed and unsettled about the future of American life. However, as new details emerge about the on-the-ground response from moviegoers, a clearer picture of real-life heroism emerges. Even the youngest Aurora heroes inspire us all to be brave and kind to our fellow citizens.
Jarrell Brooks, 19, was one person among hundreds attending the movie premiere of "Batman: The Dark Knight Rises." According to the Huffington Post, Brooks was moved by a mother who was trying to escape with her children. "She yelled, 'My kids!'" Brooks told a reporter of the horrifying moment he realized Legarreta and her two young daughters were in danger. "I made sure they got in the aisle and pushed behind her to make sure she got out of there." Brooks and Legarreta were shot during the escape, but the children escaped unharmed.
13-year-old Kaylan (last name withheld) attempted to rescue the youngest victim of the shooting, 6-year-old Veronica Moser-Sullivan. Kaylan told CBS News, "It was terrifying because I couldn't see the person who had done it." Kaylan told the Daily Mail she noticed a young girl on the floor, trapped under an injured adult. "I was asking the person who was on top of the one I was trying to help if they could move, but they kept saying they couldn't; they were numb," she recounted. Kaylan attempted CPR but was unsuccessful at reviving the child who died from her gunshot injuries.
These young heroes are just two examples of the heroism shown by the people who endured this crime and the first responders who appeared shortly after it was reported.