MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – The midnight massacre that horrified the nation was just too close of a call for Lynn and Steve Thron of Stillwater, Minn.

Their son-in-law underwent emergency surgery in the middle of the night after being shot in the thigh during a shooting at a screening of the new Batman movie in Aurora, Colo. On Friday night, the Throns said their relative is being called a hero.

“It’s tragic,” Lynn Thron said. “The people who lost their lives, and we almost could’ve lost them.”

The Thron’s daughter, Jessica, was married to her college sweetheart from Winona State just three weeks ago.

“Our daughter called at 2:10 a.m. and said that her husband had just been shot,” Thron said.

The Thron’s son-in-law, 27-year-old Carey Rottman, was shot in the leg. Also shot multiple times was Pierce O’Farrill, the Denver minister who wed Jessica and Carey.

Noticing O’Farrill was suffering more than him, Rottman went to the minister’s aid.

“I believe he said he covered Pierce and tried to protect him,” Thron said. “He tried to get Pierce out of the theater.”

Unable to carry him out, Rottman went to look for help in the lobby, where he found four teens.

“They picked him up and brought him outside, and one of the girls took her belt off and put it around his leg to stop the bleeding,” Thron said.

O’Farrill, who suffered gunshot wounds in his arm and leg, survived.

And yet another close call: Jessica told her mother that Rottman had asked her 20 times to go to the movie. Luckily, she didn’t go.

Thron said she’s praying that everyone involved will recover. She is leaving first thing Saturday to go to Denver to be with her daughter and son-in-law.

They are hearing Rottman will likely undergo more surgeries in the near future; but as for now, they say they are thankful their family is OK.


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