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Survivors of San Diegan's shooting rampage reflect on 10-year anniversary

Posted at 5:57 PM, Jul 20, 2022
and last updated 2022-07-20 20:57:09-04

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) — It's been ten years to the day since a San Diego native opened fire inside a packed movie theater in Aurora Colorado.

James Holmes is serving a life sentence without parole for killing twelve people and wounding dozens of others during the midnight showing of "The Dark Knight Rises."

Marcus Weaver was at the Century 16 theater on a date.

"I got her something to eat, and she asked if I was getting sick of her yet, and I said absolutely not. It was kind of funny, and that happened to be the last words I ever said to her," said Weaver.

Rebecca Wingo, 32, was killed inside the packed theater. Weaver was shot twice in the arm but managed to escape.

"It's taken a while to even be able to talk about it on a simple level, but you know my life was saved that night by a voice in my head saying when it was time to get up, the gunman's gun had jammed, and that's when I was able to leave the theater," said Weaver.

Ten years later, his thoughts remain with the victims.

"There is not a day that goes by, Rachel, where I don't think about Rebecca Wingo or how her kids are doing," said Weaver.

He said the first five years felt like a fog.

"When I walked into that theater and walked out, I was a different person, but the hardest part was knowing who that person was without the theater anymore," said Weaver who relied heavily on his faith.

"I took some time out and got into the Word, and it said I could be a light out of darkness for a lot of people, so that's what I became," said Weaver.

One of the brightest lights of his life came three years after the massacre when his daughter was born on Father's Day on the side of a freeway.

"It was like alright, I got something to live for now, I felt like her life was an extension of the people who didn't make it out of the theater," said Weaver.

He also honors the victims by helping his community. His non-profit helps ex-cons find jobs. He also works with other mass shooting survivors through the Onsite Foundation.

"You can do something out of something that was so hard and difficult and you can make something out of anything," said Weaver.

He was also the first survivor to publicly forgive the shooter. Today Weaver is filled with gratitude. He just got married last week. As he continues moving forward, the ten-year milestone of the tragedy also brings frustration.

"I can't tell you how abundant my life has been, but it's been an incredible journey, and so I am glad we are at the 10-year mark, and I'm looking forward to the 20, 30 but what I'm not looking forward to seeing it play out every day on my TV," Weaver said referring to the recent mass shootings across the country.

"It's amazing that time does heal, but at the same time, we're still talking about the same wounds."