AURORA, Colo. (CBS 8) – Incredible stories of survival, courage, and luck are beginning to stream out of Aurora, Colorado in the days after a mass shooting inside a crowded movie theater that claimed a dozen lives.
One of those stories involves a young man with family in Rancho Bernardo who is drawing on his relatives' experience in the 2007 San Diego County wildfires to find some positivity in the face of such tragedy.
When the bullets began to fly inside the AMC Theaters, 17-year-old Zach Golditch ran for his life amid the chaos. His neck was covered in blood after a bullet hit him just below his left ear, split, then came out in two areas in his neck, just below his hairline.
"I knew something bad was happening. I didn't know if there was a shooter when I ran out of the theater. I was just trying to get away," Golditch said.
Golditch wasn't even in the theater showing "The Dark Knight Rises" where suspected gunman James Holmes opened fire early Friday night. He was in the theater next door.
Golditch says after he was safely outside, a construction worker helped make sure he didn't lose too much blood.
"He said he was an Army doctor for 10 plus years so that was really helpful."
Among the family members Golditch contacted after the shooting to ensure he was okay, included his aunt and uncle, who live in San Diego County. Five years ago, it was Golditch who was the one who was worried about them, when the raging 2007 wildfires destroyed their home in Rancho Bernardo.
"They were just like, ‘Hey, I'm glad you're okay," Golditch says. He adds that he's trying to stay positive, and trying not to think too much about his close call with death.
"I'm getting messages, ‘you're in our thoughts, prayers, hope you're well.' I think me being calm is keeping everyone else calm."