07/21/2012 11:49 am ET

'Dark Knight Rises' Shooting: Stories From Inside Century 16 Theater 9 (PHOTOS, VIDEO)

About 20 minutes into the midnight screening of "The Dark Knight Rises" at Aurora's Century 16 theater, a gunman, suspected to be James Holmes, entered through an emergency exit and opened fire on unsuspecting movie goers -- the shooting left 12 dead and 58 injured.

At first, many thought the incident was part of the premiere, as one victim put it, "you know, we thought people were just trying to hype people up -- it's the new Batman movie. And in the shadows [the shooter] looked like he could have been a bat or whatever."

"I didn't know what to think, I thought it could have been a theater trick to tell you the truth," another victim said in the aftermath.

But it was quickly realized that this was no opening night theatrics. "He started shooting off some rounds and that's when we knew it was serious," a victim named William said about the shooting.

Each victim fills out the full story of what happened that night in theater 9 -- watch them tell their own story above.