July 20, 2012 at 1:03 PM ET
Some of those who survived thedeadly Aurora theater shooting were desperate for comfort after their harrowingexperience ... and they found it on social linking site Reddit.
"no one will believe me until i post the picture, but i wasthere and i was shot... well, grazed really. i'm doing all right just a littleshook up," wrote a Reddituser who goes by the name "themurderator" (an unfortunate handle he used well before Thursday night's shooting).
He followed up with another post: "i am one of the 50wounded in the aurora theatre shooting. here are a few photos of my very luckybut nonethless terrifying brush with death. my thoughts go out to those lessfortunate than me"
The post contained links to three photos on imgur.com, to show how close his brush with death was. (What you see above is a screenshot containing the least disturbing of the images.) There was also a post on what appears to be his Facebook page, explaining that he was "grazed in the back with a bullet but [is] fine."
Another person turned to the Reddit community for support, describing how he or she'd supposedly escaped the theater unharmed.
"Someone came into our theater at the midnight release of Dark Knight Rises and began opening fire," the Reddit user wrote under the name "Peener13." "Who here on Reddit can help me calm my nerves?"
The user went on to describe what purportedly happened:
Boyfriend and I have evacuated safe and sound. The shooting began during a gunfight scene in the movie, and at first, we thought it was special effects when smoke rose up. When shots happened again and people began to run, we thought something was up. A guy ran in and shouted there was a gunman in the building, and the alarms to emergency evacuate started to go off.
I now know what tear gas feels like. I've never had to 'get down' with a police officer screaming at us. This is the most fucked up night of my short life. I need an army of kitten photos stat.
In both cases,the Reddit community responded with an outpouring of support (for the most part). Some other witnesses joined in the discussion, offering stories of their own near misses at the theater:
"just got out of questioning with police, currently at swedish hospital, i was at the theater with my brother in the theater next to 9, the tear gas burns," wrote a user by the name coloradobro.
Responded King-of-Kings: "Hey man, i was in theater 8, my friend was grazed on the neck from a bullet coming through the wall, they wont let me know about her condition because she is not a relative, i feel your pain."
Though victims and mourners are seeking (and receiving) comfort through other channels including Facebook and Twitter as well, Reddit offers a unique forum for them, in part due to a large user base which is known for its acts of altruism and kindness. On more than one occasion, Reddit users have rallied around individuals and causes, with donation drives, fundraisers, protests, petitions and other campaigns.