STILLWATER, Minn. - The horror of what happened hits every corner of the country, but for a couple in Stillwater the shooting in a Colorado movie theater very easily could have taken their son-in-law and even their daughter.
College sweethearts, Jessica Thron, of Stillwater, and Winona State football star Carey Rottman were married just three weeks ago near Stillwater.
"I mean, he's a great kid, love the kid to death," said Steve Thron about his new son-in-law, Carey.
Rottman, who grew up near Milwaukee, was shot in the leg after a gunman opened fire at an opening night showing of "Batman" near Denver.
Rottman was with the Denver area minister who married them, Pierce O'Farrill, who was shot in the leg and arm.
"When they both got shot, Carey jumped on top of the minister, laid on top of him trying to protect him too because he knew his friend got shot worse," Thron said.
Rottman would later learn his friend was alive. In the chaos, he says he made it to the front lobby.
A teen used her belt to stop the bleeding. Rottman called his wife Jessica, who called her parents at 2 a.m. on Friday.
"She was very devastated," Thron said.
Carey had begged Jessica to join them for the movie, but she had to work early.
"He begged her 20 times to go to the movie and she just kept turning him down, and this morning he said to her, 'Thank God you weren't with me. I don't know what I would have done.'"
Rottman will have more surgeries scheduled. He was shot in the upper thigh. His parents are in Colorado with him. The Throns said they will fly out to see him and their daughter sometime next week.
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