A Baton Rouge teen was among the dozens of people shot and injured early Friday during the midnight premiere of “The Dark Knight Rises” in an Aurora, Colo., movie theater, the victim’s mother said.
Bonnie Kate Pourciau was shot in the knee while attending the movie premiere with a friend, Kathleen Pourciau said. The bullet was lodged in the teen’s knee, which was operated on Friday afternoon, the mother said.
A statement released by the Pourciau family said Bonnie Kate Pourciau’s “injuries, while serious, are not life-threatening, and the early indicators from her surgery have been encouraging.”
Bonnie Kate Pourciau’s friend was not injured in the shooting, which was one of the deadliest mass shootings in recent U.S. history.
A man in an adjoining theater helped Bonnie Kate Pourciau get out of the building since she couldn’t walk because of her injury, Kathleen Pourciau said. Bonnie Kate Pourciau used the man’s cellphone to call her mother and tell her what happened.
Kathleen Pourciau said she was shocked and scared but “so thankful” to hear that her daughter was alive.
“We have so much to be thankful for,” she said while en route to Colorado. “So many people aren’t in the same position.”
A gunman identified as James Holmes, 24, killed at least 12 people and injured nearly 60 others in the shooting rampage. Police said he was heavily armed with a gas mask, an assault rifle, a shotgun and two pistols.
Kathleen Pourciau said her daughter and her daughter’s friend were going to sit in the same place where tear gas canisters exploded but had decided to watch the movie from the back of the theater.
The friends were driving to Baton Rouge from Seattle when they decided to stop in Colorado and see the show, she said.
In response to the shooting, The Grand Cinema at 15365 George O’Neal Road in Baton Rouge already has increased security, Manager Natalie McKay said.
McKay said the theater is bringing in extra employees this weekend and hired three security officers for duty Friday and Saturday, and two on Sunday as opposed to the one officer the theater normally employs. All are off-duty East Baton Rouge Parish sheriff’s deputies, she said.
The manager said one of the deputies will go back and forth between the two theaters showing the Batman movie.
“We’ve checked all of our exit doors to make sure they’re secure,” she said. “We have people on our exits to make sure no one sneaks in.”
McKay said the Grand’s midnight showing of the movie went off without a hitch, and the theater has experienced no problems.
Danny DiGiacomo, director of marketing for Rave Cinemas, would not say whether they were going to adjust or increase security at local theaters because of the mass shooting in Colorado.
However, DiGiacomo said his company takes “security very seriously and will continue to make every effort to ensure that our moviegoers are safe when they visit our theaters.”
Advocate staff writer
contributed to this report.