07/20/2012 07:03 pm ET Updated Jul 24, 2012

Dark Knight Shooting: Victims' Reactions And Tales Of Escape Pour In (PHOTO GALLERY)

"Thank you God for the gift of life! i promise it will not go to waste"

Zack Golditch, a high school football star who took a bullet in the neck and survived, tweeted his gratitude hours after alleged shooter James Holmes opened fire in an Aurora, Colo., theater Friday, killing 12 and injuring dozens of people. Golditch, who was in the next theater, escaped serious injury.

As the initial shock subsides, survivors have begun telling their stories in media interviews and on Facebook and Twitter.

Some thought it was a prank before the deadly reality sank in. Some thought their lives were over. All are grateful.

Louis Duran, shot in the head, leg, arm and chest, told friends he had the sensation of being “punched in the head” and his “arm blown off.” The 18-year-old was whisked to safety by a stranger, a friend said to ABC News.

Chris Rapoza, whose blood-soaked T-shirt has become a symbol of the massacre, wrote on his Facebook page: "Perry and I were just at a midnite showing of batman in colorado when some fu----- psycho decided to open fire on the crowd. i was grazed in the back with a bullet but am fine. perry is unscathed, but unfortunately has lost her shoes. a lot of other people weren't so lucky."

Click onward for moving accounts of people who simply went to a movie -- and ended up in the cross-hairs of a tragedy.

(This is a partial list of victims as many have not been identified yet.)



Aurora Shooting Victims