Columbine Father Attends Prayer Vigil In Aurora

Tom Mauser Sympathizes With Victims' Families

The father of a victim of the Columbine High School shooting joined 200 faithful at a prayer vigil Friday evening across the street from the movie theater where a gunman opened fire early in the morning.

Tom Mauser's son Daniel was killed in 1999, and he has become an activist and visible figure. He said the community supported him, and he and other families of Columbine victims make a point to go to gatherings after these kinds of attacks.

"We have been there, we understand," he said.

Columbine is the worst mass killing in Colorado history, with 12 dead.

Mauser told the crowd that before Columbine he was not one to pray when someone died, figuring that God was not counting. After he heard from so many people that they had prayed for him, he then understood those prayers.

"God did not send us to this Earth to be on the sidelines. He sent us here to intervene and be with other people," Mauser said. "I appreciate what people did for me, and I felt I needed to be here tonight."

He said looking at the crowd he was reminded of all the sadness in the community in the first years after the Columbine shooting. It was hard to look at them, he said, but he could not even turn his gaze to the theater across the street still surrounded by police tape.

The shooting in the theater occured during the midnight showing of the new Batman movie, "The Dark Night Rises." Twelve people were killed, and 11 were still in critical condition Friday night. In total, 70 were injured in the shooting.

Mauser has become a gun control activist. He said he hopes that someday these events won't happen, but he doesn't believe that is soon.

"We are a nation that is awash in violence," he said.

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