Brave testimony

Woman shot during ‘Dark Knight’ attack talks about testifying in front of James Holmes

Marc Piscotty/Getty Images

Christina Blache is an Iraq War veteran. It was here in America, at a movie theater in Aurora, Colorado, that she was injured by gunfire, though — shot in both legs the night James Holmes allegedly went on a shooting spree during a midnight screening of the Batman film The Dark Night back in 2012. Her close friend was killed in the attack and other friends of hers were injured.

Blache, despite many reservations, volunteered to be one of the early witnesses to testify, she told the Associated Press. When she finally took the witness stand, about five feet away from James Holmes, she recalled, “I was shaking because I was trying to hold composure. I didn’t want to let him see any kind of emotion, anything he could feed off of. I’d never faced him before. I wanted to see who did it and I wanted to be able to try to look him in the eye,” Blache said. On the stand, Blache told the court that her experience in the Iraq War helped her figure out what was happening immediately as chaos unfolded inside the movie theater. “I went to Baghdad and have been in gunfire,” the Air Force veteran reportedly told jurors. “I have seen it myself.”

Though she was prepped by prosecutors, who reminded her to breathe while testifying, there were a few surprises. They didn’t tell Blache they’d be showing her a photo of Alex Sullivan, her friend who was killed in the theater. But they showed her an image of Sullivan in happy times, which rattled her. A bit. “I didn’t get to see him again like that, so it was a little heart-wrenching. It hit me pretty hard,” she said.

During the time Blache spent on the witness stand, she attempted to look Holmes in the eye on several occasions, trying to make eye contact with the alleged shooter. She reportedly glanced down at him between questions, but he never looked up at her. It was then that she realized she didn’t feel nervous about testifying in front of him anymore, she reportedly said.

Read the full story at The Associated Press.

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