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Comedy helps pull Caleb Medley through tragedy of Aurora shootings

By: Kevin Simpson, The Denver Post
July 21, 2014 Updated: July 21, 2014 at 2:52 pm
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photo - CANON CITY, CO. - JULY 03: Otis Medley, hold his son, Hugo, almost two-years-old, while in his wheel chair at Caleb's home in Canon City Thursday afternoon, July 03, 2014. Twelve people were killed in the mass shooting July 20, 2012, 70 were shot and injured. Caleb was with his wife Katie, who was 9-months pregnant at that time in the theater when Caleb was shot in the head from shotgun pellets, one of which entered his right eye into his brain. Medley had to have several brain surgeries, lost his right eye, has very limited movement, and has difficulties with speech, but fully understands what is being said around him. Hugo was born four days after the shooting. (Photo By Andy Cross / The Denver Post)
CANON CITY, CO. - JULY 03: Otis Medley, hold his son, Hugo, almost two-years-old, while in his wheel chair at Caleb's home in Canon City Thursday afternoon, July 03, 2014. Twelve people were killed in the mass shooting July 20, 2012, 70 were shot and injured. Caleb was with his wife Katie, who was 9-months pregnant at that time in the theater when Caleb was shot in the head from shotgun pellets, one of which entered his right eye into his brain. Medley had to have several brain surgeries, lost his right eye, has very limited movement, and has difficulties with speech, but fully understands what is being said around him. Hugo was born four days after the shooting. (Photo By Andy Cross / The Denver Post) 

As the cop guided his vehicle away from the chaos, making his third emergency run of the night to University of Colorado Hospital, he could hear the labored breathing of the injured young man in his back seat — "the most god-awful sound," as he would later describe it.

That 23-year-old victim, Caleb Medley, was bleeding from the head after a shotgun blast from a gunman whose July 2012 rampage through an Aurora movie theater would leave a dozen dead and dozens more wounded.

In the back seat, Caleb's blood mingled with that of victims from the previous two trips until, by the end of the night, the cop could hear a horrid sloshing emanate from the vehicle's floorboards.

But in the moment, he worried about that first god-awful noise growing faint.

"Don't you (expletive) die on me!" he screamed at the Florence High School graduate.

And then, to his relief, the sound of Caleb's tenuous breathing returned.

Read more here.

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