Aurora Couple Takes Teen Survivor Back To Movie

Survivor: We're Not Going To Let Gunman Control Our Lives

They escaped from the Century 16 Theater in a hail of gunfire.

One week later, Don and Jacqueline Lader went to a different theater to see the "Dark Knight Rises" with other survivors they met that Friday night.

The Laders say going to the movies will never be the same, but they will still continue to go.

They were in theater nine at Century 16 when a gunman walked in and opened fire July 20.

“We’re both former military,” Don Lader said. “When (the gunman) threw the canister, we recognized it as being CS gas. We immediately hit the ground.”

Lader said he threw himself over his wife to protect her.

“When his weapon jammed, I knew that was our one chance to get out, so I yelled, ‘run,’” Lader said.

The Laders escaped from the theater with just a few scratches.

They ended up giving several other patrons, whose cars were stuck behind crime scene tape, a ride home.

One week later, the couple decided to go to a nearby theater to see the movie with one of those families.

“They have a young teenage boy,” Lader said. "I promised him that if he wanted to go back and see the movie, I’d be right there next to him watching it.”

Before going to the movie Thursday night, the Laders stopped at Bonfils Blood Center so Don could donate a pint of O-negative blood.

During the process, he told 7NEWS that he wasn’t about to let the gunman keep him from doing what he enjoys.

“We go to the movies frequently,” he said.

“We like action movies,” Jacqueline Lader said. “We’re former military. We both served in Iraq.”

She said action movies help them cope with memories of artillery shells.

“It’s a way for us to fight back,” Lader said. “We’re not going to let that one individual take charge of our lives. We’re not going to let him have power over us.”

Jacqueline Lader said they’ll both be more aware of their surroundings from now on.

“We’ll pay more attention to who’s in the theater,” she said. “But we can’t be afraid.”

Lader said the Century 16’s owner should allow survivors and family members who lost loved ones to go inside the theater, if they desire, to see where the tragedy took place.

While some people have called for the theater to be shut down, Lader said he doesn’t want to see that happen.

“I’d like to see the theater remain open,” Lader said. “I’d like to see them put up a memorial in Theater nine.”

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