Colorado Massacre Survivor Meets ‘Dark Knight Rises’ Star Christian Bale

A victim of the 'Dark Knight Rises' shooting is recovering in his hospital bed in Colorado after the July 20 massacre. On July 24, he got a surprise visitor -- movie star Christian Bale! Keep reading for Stephen's amazing survivor story! Stephen Barton, 22, had a private meeting with Christian Bale and his wife on Tuesday. Christian's hospital visit was unannounced and not publicized before the visit. It was so nice of him to make an appearance!

“It was apparently a quick meeting but my mom said that they all chatted about what had happened and my brother’s injuries.” Stephen’s older brother David Barton told EXCLUSIVELY.

“Christian was very upset about the fact that the shooting happened during his movie.”

Stephen suffered shotgun pellet wounds to his neck, chest and arms. He also has shrapnel in his chest, hands and by one of his eyes. spoke exclusively with his brother, David Barton, about his brother’s condition and recovery.

“My mom found out around 3 a.m. Friday morning by phone. She called me shortly thereafter to let me know what had happened. At the beginning, we didn’t have a lot of information except that he had been at the theater and had been shot. As the early morning went on we learned that he had gone into surgery. The staff at Aurora Medical Center were communicating frequent updates to us, letting us know his condition and how he was progressing.”

Stephen lives in Connecticut and was just, by chance, in Aurora, Colorado on July 20.

“After he graduated from Syracuse in May, he and a friend from high school went on a cross-country bicycle trip. They had been planning the trip for many months. I think they wanted to do it to prove to themselves that they could accomplish such a feat and it also provided them with a unique way to see the country. He was in Aurora, Colorado, that night staying at a friend’s house for the night to rest before they continued on their journey.”

Although it was a traumatic and devastating ordeal, Stephen still has a positive attitude.

“He knows that he is extremely lucky to have made it out of that theater. If the shotgun pellets had been only millimeters in a different direction in his neck, he wouldn’t have ever made it out of the theater. Regarding the shooter, he said it best, saying that it’s a shame he thought this was the best way to cope with whatever problems he was going through.”

Stephen is recovering quickly with the support of his family and friends.

“He’s feeling much better and is continuing to improve. He is very lucid and talkative. In fact, speaking with him over the phone you would never know that he just went through such a traumatic experience.”

David spoke very highly of his brother Stephen, who has a very bright future ahead of him!

“Stephen graduated from Syracuse University in May where he delivered the student commencement speech. He was a triple major in international relations, economics, and Russian language, literature and culture, and was awarded the Fulbright Scholarship to teach English in Russia beginning in September. He is an absolute incredible person — always going above and beyond and constantly striving to be the best he can possibly be. As his brother, I’m extremely proud of all he has achieved in 22 years and cannot wait to see what the future holds. I know he still has so much to contribute.”

Watch this video to see more of Stephen’s story in his own words:

–Dory Larrabee

More ‘Dark Knight’ stories:

  1. Jessica Ghawi, Killed In Colorado Shooting, Narrowly Missed Being Shot Weeks Ago
  2. Christian Bale Visits Shooting Victims In Aurora Colorado
  3. Woman Shot In The Head By James Holmes Survived Due To Rare Brain Defect

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