Theater shooting survivor Louis Duran testifies he called his mother twice after being wounded

Posted at 2:08 PM, May 18, 2015
and last updated 2015-05-19 10:23:16-04

Tearfully, a survivor of the Aurora movie theater shooting told the jury on Monday that he called his mother twice after being wounded in the theater.

Louis Duran said he called his mother once from the floor of the theater and again after he got outside, but was twice prevented from describing that conversation for the jury. The defense objected both times and the judge sustained their objection for hearsay.

Duran is one of 70 people injured in the shooting perpetrated by James Holmes.Twelve others were killed.

The prosecution is seeking the death penalty in this case, while the gunman has pleaded not guilty by reason of insanity.

Duran said he attended the movie with Ryan Lumba, who also testified Monday morning, and other friends. Lumba was hit in the abdomen and lost consciousness for several days, waking up in the hospital. 

Duran was shot in the arm and head, but remained aware throughout the experience.

"I knew I got hit in the head with something. I thought for sure it hit my brain or something because I'm not able to move my right arm," Duran said, not yet knowing he'd also been hit in the arm.  "Didn't think I was going to make it."

Duran threw himself to the ground.

"I reached down to my left pocket, grabbed by phone. I called the most important person in my life -- my mother," before he was interrupted by defense attorney Dan King's objection.

Later in his testimony, Duran said the sound of gunshots stopped.

"I was able to get myself up and I knew that maybe I had a chance to live," he said.

Someone helped him down the stairs and out the theater exit. Outside, Duran said he asked a woman for help removing his shirt and fashioning it into a bandage for his head wound.

He said that he called his mother a second time as he was leaning against a police car with that shirt wrapped around his head. For a second time, the defense objected and the judge forced the testimony to move along.

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Duran continued, saying he was moved to sit on a curb beside other wounded victims and then eventually taken to the South Aurora Clinic for treatment. There, he learned that the gunshot wound to his head did not penetrate his skull and was informed about the wound to his arm. He also learned that he suffered several wounds from shrapnel in his arm, knee, chest, eyebrow and fingers.

Lumba said that when he awoke in the hospital, several days later, he was informed that he'd suffered several gunshot wounds. He required a tube to be inserted to re-inflate a lung and surgery to remove part of his small intestine.