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Area Witness To Colo. Tragedy: ‘You Can’t Change The Way You Live’

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Steve Ostergaard, 27, was in the auditorium next door to the one where James Holmes allegedly began firing on audience members. (CBS)

Steve Ostergaard, 27, was in the auditorium next door to the one where James Holmes allegedly began firing on audience members. (CBS)

Derrick Blakley Derrick Blakley
Derrick Blakley is a general assignment reporter for CBS 2...
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(CBS) – A special education teacher from the Chicago area is back home after witnessing the chaos at last week’s theater shooting in Aurora, Colo. -– and still processing the tragedy.

Steve Ostergaard of Lake Bluff was at a Denver-area conference with his family and took 12 students to see a late showing of “The Dark Knight Rises.” In the next-door auditorium, a heavily armed James Holmes allegedly began firing on audience members early Friday.

Ostergaard heard the commotion, and the gunman’s assault could be felt in his auditorium. An 18-year-old member of his group was hit in the arm.

“By the time I got him from the movie theater to the lobby, he was covered in blood from his shoulder all the way down to his legs,” Ostergaard, 27, told CBS 2’s Derrick Blakley on Monday. “His clothes were just dripping in blood.”

The 18-year-old in Ostergaard’s group was apparently wounded by smoke bomb shrapnel that tore though the theater wall.

Holmes, 24, made his first appearance in court Monday and is accused of killing 12 movie-goers.

Ostergaard indicated he’s not going to let the killings change his life.

“You can’t change the way you live when something like this happens,” he says.

Among the fatalities in the other auditorium was John Larimer, 27, a member of the U.S. Navy from northwest suburban Crystal Lake. Larimer shielded his girlfriend from gunfire, she told Newsradio WBBM.

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