Father of Aurora sharpened plant finds condolence in officer

January 22, 2015 - photo frame

Ian Sullivan visits his daughter’s grave on her birthday any year given a gunman detonate into a swarming Colorado film museum and shot a 6-year-old as she sat with her mom in a third row.

And any year he finds a birthday card, put there by a male who was with Veronica when Sullivan wishes he could have been: The military officer who carried a failing lady out of a museum in his arms.

Sullivan’s is one of a many fear stories that emerged from a Century 16 film museum in Aurora, in suburban Denver, where James Holmes killed 12 people, including Veronica, and harmed 70 others in Jul 2012.

Since then, survivors have been perplexing to refurbish their lives, anticipating comfort in any other or seeking a aloft purpose. A couple, wounded, got married. A father who mislaid his son became a gun control advocate. Others incited to faith.

Sullivan, 28, cut his ties to many of those who were closest to him before a attack, retreating to a home in Colorado’s mountains. A salvation has been a military officer whom he usually knows by his initial name, Mike.

The officer, Mike Hawkins, declined to comment, citing a judge’s wisecrack sequence exclusive anyone — invulnerability attorneys, officers, prosecutors, witnesses — from articulate to a news media about a case.

The officer still checks in on Sullivan with texts on a days that are a hardest — holidays, a birthday, Sullivan said.

“It’s not so many all he was means to tell me, though some-more so a bargain that we was not alone,” he said.

Veronica was innate when Sullivan was 19. He pronounced he had been distant from a ideal teenager, removing into difficulty with a law. He and Veronica’s mother, Ashley Moser, weren’t indispensably prepared for a shortcoming of parenting, he said.

But he was unapproachable when he saw his baby daughter. “It dramatically altered my life to have her,” he said.

The integrate divorced when Veronica was 3, though he still saw her regularly. He reveled in their time outdoors. A high indicate came in May 2012, when she held her initial fish, a trout. She gutted it herself.

One new afternoon in a cramped, groundwork mechanism room where he spends many of his time these days, he flipped by photos of her. Veronica holding a fish by a lure. On a sandy beach. In a competition car. On a initial day of kindergarten. She flashes a toothless laugh underneath her sandy blonde hair and Hello Kitty earrings.

Upstairs in his kitchen, he pushed a symbol on a print support she gave him a month before she was killed, and her voice filled a room.

“I adore you, Daddy,” she cooed, stumbling over a Father’s Day greeting.

To keep Veronica’s memory alive, he tries to do a things he used to do with her. He hikes. He skis. He works on cars — she used to palm him wrenches while he was underneath a chassis, he said.

He tries to stay bustling to keep his mind from erratic into darker thoughts. It doesn’t always work.

“I wasn’t there to strengthen her,” he said.

Sullivan’s father, Robert Sullivan, pronounced he encourages his son to speak and tries to listen. “What we notice is a really clever underlying annoy and agonise that is going to be really formidable to overcome,” he said. “It’s going to perpetually change him.”

Just after midnight on Jul 20, 2012, Sullivan fell defunct during his Denver studio apartment, tired after returning from one of a long-haul routes he gathering as a trucker. Two hours later, he was awakened by his phone.

A relations of his ex-wife told him he indispensable to get to a hospital. Veronica was dying.

He arrived too late to contend goodbye to his daughter. Her mom was inept in a attack.

Days later, he asked a victim’s disciple to deliver him to a military officer who carried Veronica from a theater. They met during a military hire in Aurora, not distant from a sharpened scene.

The officer told Sullivan that he, too, was a father. Sullivan pronounced a officer told him that he suspicion he felt Veronica’s heartbeat as he carried her from a theater. Sullivan realizes what a officer substantially felt was his possess pulse, his heart racing.

“The many comforting thing for me was meaningful he was a father himself. To know that he picked her adult a same approach he picks adult his possess kids and he carried her a same approach he carries his possess kids,” Sullivan said.

He told a officer a hardest partial was feeling incompetent and incompetent to strengthen his daughter.

“I know it took a lot out of him as well. we could see how many repairs it had finished to him,” he said.

Getting a occasionally content messages and saying a birthday cards reminds him that someone else out there — who was with Veronica when he couldn’t be — is meditative about his pain.

“It helps to know there’s still someone there who indeed cares,” he said.

Copyright 2015 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This element might not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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