Best friends recover together after Aurora theater shooting

Pierce O'Farrill and Carey Rottman were both shot

AURORA, Colo. - The bond between Carey Rottman and Pierce O'Farrill goes beyond friendship.

One year ago, inside Century Theater #9, they were both shot.

O'Farill was hit three times in the arm and foot. In the chaos, Cary, shot in the leg, thought Pierce was dead.

"It was just a terrible feeling. It was probably three to four hours before I heard Pierce was OK, so all that time I was thinking my buddy is in the theater and didn't make it out," said Carey Rottman.

Two friends, so close that just three weeks before the shooting when Rottman got married, Pierce performed the ceremony.

In the last year, they have leaned on each other, as they recover physically and emotionally.

For both, the hardest part has been remembering the people who didn't make it and what they saw that night.

"I just have to keep reminding myself that I survived, and there's a plan for me to be here," said O'Farrill.

He believes that plan led him to recover at the home of family friends. Their oldest daughter visited often to lift his spirits.

"Kind of, one thing lead to another, and we ended up falling in love and dating, and we just got engaged earlier this month," said O'Farrill with a smile.

Rottman and his wife just celebrated their first year of marriage.

"We can't even explain how lucky we got," said Rottman. "You want to take every day, have fun, laugh and be with the people you love and enjoy being with."

For the last year, that's what they've both done -- seeing high-profile visitors, throwing out an opening pitch, to climbing mountains.

After one year, the best friends can walk away stronger, knowing they survived together -- a bond that can never be broken.

"It's definitely helped us to be able to talk about the tough stuff in the theater, but at the same time, we still joke around a lot," said O'Farrill. "He's one of my best friends, and that will never change."

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