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Lake Bluff Man A Witness To Colorado Theater Massacre

Steven Ostergaard, 27, of Lake Bluff, was in the auditorium next to the room where a gunman opened fire during a showing of "The Dark Knight Rises." (LinkedIn)

Steven Ostergaard, 27, of Lake Bluff, was in the auditorium next to the room where a gunman opened fire during a showing of “The Dark Knight Rises.” (LinkedIn)

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CHICAGO (CBS) – A Lake Bluff man was in a Colorado movie auditorium next to the one where a gunman opened fire early Friday, sending bullets through the wall.

Steve Ostergaard talked to CBS 2 about the terrifying experience.

The 27-year-old educator was in Aurora, Colorado with his family for a conference for people who stutter. He had taken a group of young attendees to the theater for a midnight screening of “The Dark Knight Rises” when chaos erupted in real life.

“All of a sudden the theater started to fill with smoke and then you heard what sounded like Black Cat fireworks,” Ostergaard said in a phone interview with CBS 2 from Colorado.

“At that point, I felt something. I looked to my right and saw something exploding,” he added. “The kid behind me, the 18-year-old, said, ‘Ow, I’m hit.’”

Ostergaard said he initially thought two people may have had an argument in his auditorium and fired guns at each other.

“I had no idea,” he said, referring to the even worse reality. Suspect James Holmes was shooting dozens of moviegoers watching the Batman movie on another screen. Twelve people died and nearly 60 were wounded in the adjacent auditorium.

The teenager sitting behind Ostergaard was recovering from his arm injury.

Ostergaard says what really happened still hasn’t hit him.