Cumberland Co. man survives theater shooting

July 22, 2012 7:51:17 AM PDT
A 22-year-old from Hope Mills was inside the Colorado theater as the bullets started flying.

Derrick Poage said at first he thought the gunfire was a prank, but quickly realized he needed to run for his life.

"I was scared. I thought this was going to be my last day. I thought me and my girlfriend were going to die," said Poage.

It was a moment of pure horror and terror.  

"He was the bottom right where the exit was. He started shooting people on the bottom rows. At first, I thought it was a prank and then, at the fifth gunshot, everyone actually starting screaming and running.  That's when I realized it had really gotten real."

He said the chaos turned to pandemonium.

"He started aiming up at the top rows and then he was close enough that I could see a gas mask.  He was dressed in a SWAT uniform type thing. He had a rifle and a handgun. The shots were like loud. I saw people falling and people getting shot in the arm.  Then a man had gotten shot in his head by his ear."

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