Sanger man escapes Colorado theater unharmed

Friday, July 20, 2012
A woman holds a dozen fresh roses in memory of the dead at a vigil, Friday, July 20, 2012 in Aurora, Colo. Authorities report that 12 died and more than three dozen people were shot during an assault at the theatre during a midnight premiere of The Dark Knight. (AP Photo/Robert Ray) Aurora, Colo., Police Department Cheif Daniel Oates, center, confers with officers before a news conference at the Century 16 theatre east of the Aurora Mall in Aurora, Colo., on Friday, July 20, 2012. A gunman in a gas mask hurled a gas canister and opened fire in the sold-out theater during a midnight showing of the new Batman movie Friday, killing 12 people and injuring 59 in one of the deadliest mass shootings in recent U.S. history. The shooter was arrested shortly after the attack, and law enforcement officials identified him as 24-year-old James Holmes. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski) Police and firefighters gather in front of an apartment where the suspect in a shooting at a movie theatre lived in Aurora, Colo., Friday, July 20, 2012. As many as 12 people were killed and 50 injured at a shooting at the Century 16 movie theatre in Aurora, Colo., Friday, July 20, 2012. The suspect is identified as 24-year-old James Holmes. (AP Photo/Ed Andrieski) Obama addresses CO mass shooting Army Specialist and Sanger native David Pharris

Action News spoke to a Valley father whose son was in the same theater as the suspected gunman.

Army Specialist and Sanger native David Pharris survived the Aurora shooting massacre, but just barely. David was with his friends inside the theater when, police say, 24-year-old James Holmes barged into the crowd, hurled a gas canister and then opened fire.

Shortly after getting out of the movie theater David left a voice message letting his father know what he was unhurt:

"Hey dad, uhhh it happened. We were in the movie theater and the guy walked in and he opened fire. He had a gas mask on. Threw tear gas and opened fire into the crowd. I'm okay don't worry I'm just in a little shock right now because of everything that happened. I mean some of my friends have gotten shot. One's not breathing, I don't know if he's dead or alive. His body is holding up but he could be dead. I'm still flipped out right now. I can't believe I almost died. Please give me a call if you can when you wake up and leave me a message. I can get e-mail here if too. I love you. Bye."

Jeff did get in contact with his son earlier today and told Action News, "I want my son home. He's been in the army for two years and my only child and I just want him to come home."

Jeff Pharris talked to Action News over the phone. He said David is still a little shaken up since their first conversation today.

In an bizarre twist, David told his father that he and his friends were sitting in the bottom section near the front row and decided to move up to try and get better seats right as the suspected gunmen broke into theater. Certainly his friends were injured but things could have been a lot worse for the Pharris family.

At this time we don't know the condition of his friend that was shot.

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sanger, fresno county, colorado, shooting, movies, local, tommy tran
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