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Colorado shootings: Survivor gives birth as husband lies in ICU

July 25, 2012|By Connie Stewart
  • Katie Medley with son Hugo Jackson Medley, born Tuesday morning. Her husband, Caleb, is in intensive care, critically injured in the Colorado theater shootings.
Katie Medley with son Hugo Jackson Medley, born Tuesday morning. Her husband,… (University of Colorado…)

As Caleb Medley lay in a medically induced coma at University of Colorado Hospital -- critically wounded in the Aurora theater shootings -- his wife, Katie, gave birth to their first child.

Despite the recent trauma and the challenges to come, a little joy entered  the world with little Hugo Jackson Medley. The boy was  born at 7:11 a.m. Tuesday, the hospital said, "and both mom and baby are doing great."

Caleb is an aspiring comedian; his wife is studying to be a veterinary technician. The twentysomething high school sweethearts had decided to see the premiere of the latest Batman movie,"The Dark Knight Rises,"as a last date before their son's birth. They went to the 12:05 a.m. showing Friday. 

"They were having the normal opening-night movie experience," according to a website set up to raise money for Caleb's medical care. "They stood anxiously in line, spent too much on popcorn and soda, suffered through the movie trailers and watched the beginning of the movie. That is when evil struck."

A gunman entered Theater 9 through an emergency door and tossed a smoke or gas canister, then opened fire. In all, 12 people were killed and 58 wounded, most from bullets.

Caleb was shot in the face, destroying his right eye and damaging his brain, the website says. Katie was not hit. 

The Medleys have no health insurance.  

Their friend, Michael West, writes on the website that they were sitting within 15 feet of the emergency exit where the shooter entered. "I thought it was a prank at first, or someone playing along with the movie, because it happened during a fight scene," Katie told West. "Then he opened fire, and Caleb was shot in the right eye. ... I didn't know how he was because there was so much blood, but he was still moving and he kept running his fingers through his hair." 

When police arrived, Katie said, "they did not bother to wait for the ambulance; he was put in the back of a cop car and they drove him straight to University Hospital. I did not get to see him again because the police were keeping me, and I did not find out if he was still alive until they released me at about 4 a.m."

Caleb needs more surgery to remove his damaged right eye and shotgun pellets, West writes. 

"These hospital bills are going to be well into the hundreds of thousands, if not millions," West writes. "Caleb and Katie will be struggling with these hospital bills for the rest of their lives." 

connie.stewart@latimes.com

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