Officer who carried failing lady amenities lamentation father – Chico Enterprise

January 23, 2015 - photo frame

EVERGREEN, Colo. (AP) Every year on his daughter’s birthday, Ian Sullivan visits a grave of a child he mislaid when a gunman slipped into a Colorado film museum and fatally shot a 6-year-old as she sat with her mom in a fourth row.

And any year, he finds a birthday label on a headstone from a male who was with Veronica when Sullivan couldn’t be: a military officer who carried a failing lady out of a museum in his arms.

Since a 2012 attack, survivors and their desired ones have any sought comfort in their possess ways. One bleeding integrate got married. A father whose son was killed became a gun-control advocate. Others incited to faith.

The 28-year-old Sullivan withdrew, slicing ties to many of those who had been closest to him and retreating to a home in a mountains. But he found a salvation in a military officer he usually knows by his initial name, Mike.

The officer still checks in on Sullivan with texts on a days that are a hardest holidays and 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.

The officer is Mike Hawkins, who declined to criticism to The Associated Press, citing a judge’s wisecrack sequence exclusive attorneys, authorities or witnesses from articulate to a news media about a case.

The immature lady he scooped adult that night was innate when Sullivan was 19. At a time, he and a girl’s mother, Ashley Moser, weren’t indispensably prepared for parenthood, 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, and gutted it herself.

On a new afternoon during his home, Sullivan flipped by photos of her: Veronica 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.

He pushed a symbol on a print support she gave him a month before her death, 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 hiking, skiing, operative 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.”

Attorneys for a gunman, James Holmes, acknowledge that he killed 12 people and harmed 70 others. He has pleaded not guilty by reason of insanity. Jury preference in his murder hearing began Tuesday and is approaching to continue for months.

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 there had been a sharpened during a theater. 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 theater.

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. Sullivan realizes a officer substantially felt his possess beat 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,” he said. “I could see how many repairs it had finished to him.”

Getting a occasionally content messages and saying a birthday cards reminds him that someone else out there is meditative about his pain.

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

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