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January 18, 2013

Colo. theater reopens, months after mass shooting

(Continued)

AURORA, Colo. —

The decision to reopen even divided at least one victim's family.

Tom Sullivan, whose son, Alex, was killed, attended the event.

"The community wants the theater back and by God, it's back," Sullivan said. "Nobody is going to stop us from living our lives the way that we lived our lives before. This is where I live."

Alex's widow, Cassandra Sullivan, joined the boycott. So did Tom Teves, whose own son, Alex, also was killed.

"They can do whatever they want. I think it was pretty callous," Teves said.

Adam Witt, who was grazed in the shoulder during the attack, was expecting flashbacks when he walked into the theater Thursday night. He and his wife Tiffany were pleasantly surprised at how unfamiliar the renovated space seemed.

"It was strange but oddly reassuring," said Tiffany Witt, 24. "The way it looks different -- it gives us the feeling that we're moving on from what happened."

Marcus Weaver struggled to keep his emotions under control as he walked through the multiplex lobby. On July 20 he was shot in the arm and his friend Rebecca Wingo was killed. Thursday night he had to stop and pray before entering the theater.

He was glad he did. Inside he saw the woman with whom he had shared a terrifying ambulance ride on July 20, and another woman from his church whom he hadn't even realized had been in the auditorium that night.

"There was so much love in that room, it conquered all the ill feeling I had," said Weaver, 42, who wore a shirt bearing Wingo's name and image. "The shooter, he can't win. This community is way stronger."

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