Aurora theater shooting: Couple who escaped Century 16 having their first child
Three days after Jeremiah and Lindsay Wheelersburg escaped the Century 16 shootings in Aurora unharmed, the couple got some unexpected news: They are having their first child.
Jeremiah and Lindsay.
For the pair from Aurora, it's strange and wonderful news that gives them new perspective on one of their most traumatic experiences.
"The Lord brings beauty from ashes," says Lindsay, 26. "Even in the midst of tragedy and so much lost life, the very next day, the Lord created life as well. It's kind of been helpful for me to cope with it. I've been playing the scene that night over and over in mind. I've got this to replace all that."
The couple, who met at Calvary Chapel Aurora and now lives in Lake Tahoe, California, got one of the final tickets for the midnight showing of The Dark Knight Rises late Thursday night last week. They were part of a group of more than thirty church members who bought tickets to the screening and ended up in theater eight, next door to theater nine, where accused gunman James Holmes eventually fired shots that killed twelve individuals and injured dozens more.
Jeremiah and Lindsay Wheelersburg
We spoke to Jeremiah, 25, on Friday outside of Gateway High School, where he and his brother Joel, a youth pastor in Aurora, had come the following morning to offer support to some of the survivors and witnesses recovering from the tragedy. At the time, Jeremiah told us that one of the scariest parts of the whole experience was the image of his wife panicking.
When we checked up with him yesterday to see how he and his family were recovering, he revealed that he and Lindsay would be having their first child.
"There's hope," he says. "There's new life. There's hope in that sense. It's strange to be able to rejoice over that."
Jeremiah has recounted some of his experiences at the shooting on his J.N. Wheels blog. Here's a short excerpt from Jeremiah's detailed account:
At the moment all I cared about was staying close to my brother and Lindsay. All I wanted was for these two people who I loved more than my own life, to make it out of here alive. "Joel!" I shouted. He was standing nearby. Together we looked below, looked at the staircases, looked behind us. More blood. It looked as though some people were running back up the staircase to the left. "We need to go!" So made our way quickly down the right staircase as you look out toward the parking lot. This all felt like a horrible scene from a movie that we had somehow become a part of. We were living the movie out and we could not escape this reality.
Days later, it is still extremely difficult for people who were at the theater, and those in the larger community, to come to terms with the event and to try and make sense of it -- and Jeremiah, who used to be a pastor in Aurora before he moved to California, has been doing outreach work and offering support to victims' families and other witnesses who survived the shootings but are dealing with post-traumatic stress.
Page down to read more of the couple's experiences and reflections.