Aurora theater shooting victim's dad to attend Cinemark theater reopening
11:26 AM, Jan 4, 2013
AURORA, Colo. - The father of one person killed in the Colorado theater shootings says he'll be present when the theater reopens, even though his daughter-in-law and relatives of some other victims are refusing to go.
Tom Sullivan wrote a column published in Friday's Denver Post saying his son, Alex, would want him to be there.
"The seat next to me will be saved for Alex, but I'll have an extra hand if you need something to hold on to," Tom Sullivan wrote in his opinion column.
Alex Sullivan was among 12 people killed in the July 20 shootings.
Alex Sullivan's widow, Cassandra Sullivan, was among 15 relatives of the victims who said the invitation from theater owner Cinemark to attend a reopening ceremony on Jan. 17 was "disgusting" and insensitive.
The group calling itself 'The Families of the Aurora Cinemark Theatre Massacre' said Cinemark USA sent the invitation two days after Christmas.
"During the holiday we didn’t think anyone or anything could make our grief worse," the group wrote in a letter. "But you, Cinemark, have managed to do just that by sending us an invitation two days after Christmas inviting us to attend the re-opening of your theater in Aurora where our loved ones were massacred."
"For some, the reopening of the theater might be painful, and for others, healing. That is why it is important for the victims and their families to have a choice whether or not they want to attend the reopening," Aurora Mayor Steve Hogan said in a written statement.
According to a letter sent by Cinemark to Hogan last month, the Aurora Century 16 Theatre will allow victims and families of victims to visit before it reopens to the general public. The company said they would work with the Colorado Organization for Victims Assistance to make arrangements for Jan. 15 and 16.
The company announced in September that they planned to reconfigure the theater where the July 20 massacre happened.
Tom Sullivan's column didn't criticize any of the other families for refusing to attend the ceremony.