I couldn't hear him super well because the movie was loud but he started getting louder and didn't look like he planned on sitting down anytime soon. And then he took his jacket off and put his hands in the air and started repeating "No oxygen. No oxygen in here. No oxygen....Everyone listen. It's not bad. It's not. It's not bad." Everyone's faces were in sheer terror. I was 99% sure he was going to hurt us.
The friend I was with started to stand up and said, "We need to get out of here." I told her to sit back down. If he had a gun he'd shoot her for running out. I started praying in my heart and looking around to see what everyone was going to do. A man in front of us said he was going to go up there but his girlfriend was holding him back with tears in her eyes. I stopped listening to the crazy man but he continued to yell. Everyone was watching him so I looked back just as he reached into his back pocket and someone yelled, "Everyone run!" And we all pushed and shoved our way out of the theater as fast as we could.
I never looked back. I ran and ran. Our lives were at stake and people were hysterical. I didn't ever hear gun shots, but we all just kept going anyway. I found my friend once we were out of the theater and held her while she cried. The police were heading in as soon as we got outside. I called my husband and he answered the second time, I told him it was an emergency and to grab my friend's husband as well. They came out and we told them what happened. They held our shaking bodies and I tried to get my heart rate back down to normal.
The police asked if we heard any direct threats. I told him no. He said another witness said the man threatened to throw a grenade and that's when everyone ran. I'm not sure if he actually did anything at all, or if even actually had anything on him. Everyone was okay so I guess nothing dramatic happened, and the movie theater went right about normal business.
If I was ever in a mass killing in a movie theater, I suspect that's how it would've felt. I was shaking and scared, but I also had so many thoughts run through my mind.
I was grateful I'd spent a night before with girlfriends I hadn't made time to see in almost 8 months. I'm grateful I kissed my husband and told him I loved him when we parted even though he was just in the next theater over. I was grateful I didn't have any regrets from my life in that moment.
I'll still go see movies at theaters, I might sit a little closer to the exit, but I'll still go. It was scary, but I was grateful in that moment that I was able to speak to my Heavenly Father and ask Him that if it be His will to protect us and help me to know what to do. I'm even more grateful to know that if something HAD happened, my marriage was an eternal marriage and that I would still be with my husband forever. It was eye-opening, and even though it's made it a little harder to sleep at night, I'm more grateful than ever for the life I am living and for all the beautiful people in it.
Be grateful. Live every moment like it's your last. And love those around you a little more than necessary, because in those life-changing moments, the relationships around us matter more than anything else.
For God hath not given us the spirit of fear, but of power, and of love, and of a sounds mind.
1 Timothy 1:7