Las Vegas shooting is close to home for Colorado father who lost son in Aurora theater shooting

Colorado man in Las Vegas during mass shooting
Posted at 4:56 PM, Oct 02, 2017
and last updated 2017-10-03 00:04:08-04

AURORA, Colo. -- A Colorado man whose son died in the Aurora movie theater shooting was in Las Vegas during Sunday night’s mass shooting, which left at least 59 people dead and 527 people injured.

Tom Sullivan is in Las Vegas for a work conference. He was aware of the shooting before he went to sleep, but learned of the magnitude later in the morning, he told Denver7 Monday afternoon.

Sullivan’s son, Alex, died in the Century 16 shooting during what was supposed to be a celebration of his 27th birthday.

"I know exactly what those people are going through today,” he said.

"You're here walking around and someone will make some comment, you know, about this or that. I turn and say, ‘I know exactly what that family is going through today.’ I know what next week will be like and next month, and the rest of their lives,” Sullivan said.

"Now, Las Vegas is just going to be another one of those cities that has their name attached to it like Aurora, like Sandy Hook, like Charleston, like Orlando."

From a distance, he's seen the Mandalay Bay and the broken window up above. He says he will help if needed.

"Those who weren't physically injured, we know are going to be psychologically injured for the rest of their lives," Sullivan said.

Sullivan ran for Colorado state Senate last year, but lost. He’s still active in gun-related issues, most recently as a critic of the “Hearing Protection Act,” a federal measure relaxing the sale of silencers.