Her friend and co-worker, Alex "Sully" Sullivan, was shot in the head, and Blache found out Saturday morning that he didn't survive.

"He was the whole reason we all went," Blache said from her hospital bed.

Blache served in the Air Force until four years ago, and her service included a stint in the Iraqi capital Baghdad.

But at home, in a moviehouse, "nobody was prepared" for the violence that was unleashed, she said. "If you're going over to a war zone, you know there's the potential that you're going to be shot at. Potential that mortars are going to come over the wall. Potential that somebody is going to throw a grenade at you. Where if you're sitting in a movie theater trying to watch a movie with your friends, who expects to be shot in a movie theater? None of us did."'

Eric Hunter caught a glimpse of the killer's eyes during the rampage.

They "looked pretty intense," but betrayed no emotion, he said.

Like others, Hunter said he thought the first three shots were a stunt, "part of the moviegoing experience."

Then he heard nine more.

He helped two teenage girls to safety as they fled the theater.

He says the killings have changed his life: "I'm going to be more cautious. I'm going to live my life a little bit better and just enjoy myself."