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Residents: City of Aurora closer 5 years after Aurora theater shooting

Posted at 4:16 PM, Jul 20, 2017

AURORA, Colo. -- Five years ago, the Aurora theater shooting shocked not only the city of Aurora, but the entire nation. 

Five years later, people who live in Aurora say the city is now stronger than ever and a lot closer than before the shooting. 

"Before the shooting, people were just caught in the bustle of life and living," said Terrance McDonald. "I don't think it was a bad town before." 

Residents in Aurora took a moment Thursday — the fifth anniversary of the shooting — to recall their thoughts and feelings after learning of the rampage five years ago. 

"I just remember seeing it on the news," said Howard Robins. "I didn't think something like this could happen anywhere." 

"I remember, I do," said Juwan Robinson. "How could I forget?" 

Denver7 went to a bus station right across the street from Century Aurora where the shooting happened five years ago. 

People who ride the bus every day there said they were reminded of the tragedy every time they looked at the theater. 

"I look at it, and think how could someone just randomly go there to see a movie and someone starts shooting people," Robins said. "It's just sick." 

Denver7 even spoke to friends of victims who use the bus across the theater every day. 

"A couple hours after the shooting I found out that my friend Marcus was shot. I didn't know if he was okay or if he wasn't when I found out about that.

"I had two friends who were in there when it happened. One was shot in the leg, the other got shot in his thigh," Robinson said.

For years, people who use the bus would look across the street and multiple thoughts would run through their heads. 

"I would always wonder, what's going to happen next?" said Terry Mendoza. "It really did bring fear into people's lives." 

Others, chose to look away from the theater. 

"I think over time, everyone has forgotten about what happened," Robinson said. "I think people wanted to forget. But I think we should always remember what happened. Because people died. We should never forget that." 

Some in Aurora reinforced the belief that the city is now stronger after this tragedy. 

"It opened a lot of people's eyes that were closed," McDonald said. "It opened those eyes of people who only worried about themselves." 

"I think it did bring the town closer," Mendoza said. "Because everyone here takes care of everyone." 

But some believe the city needs to be closer. 

"It will be a lot closer if we memorized all those people that were involved," Robinson said.