Monday, March 10 2014 12:26 PM EDT2014-03-10 16:26:48 GMT
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Sunday, March 9 2014 5:44 PM EDT2014-03-09 21:44:06 GMT
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BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) -
Bonnie Kate Pourciau, the Baton Rouge teen wounded in the theater mass shootings in Colorado, returned to Louisiana on Thursday.
Pourciau landed at the Baton Rouge Metro Airport in the afternoon.
Bonnie Kate was taken to Our Lady of the Lake to continue treatment. When she arrived, her siblings were waiting for her.
"I'm ready to be where I can touch her, see her," said Madeline Pourciau, Bonnie Kate's 17-year-old sister. "It's gonna be great. I'm so excited."
Billboards in Baton Rouge beamed about her return, while outside Our Lady of the Lake's emergency room, neatly-lettered handmade posters read "Grace" and "Courage" among other things, brightened the surroundings.
Pourciau was shot in the leg early Friday morning as she and her friend, Elizabeth Sumrall, were in an Aurora, CO theater watching The Dark Knight Rises.
She underwent three surgeries at the University of Colorado Hospital. Sumrall was not injured in the attack.
Pourciau said she did not think she would survive the horrifying ordeal. In an instant, a night at the movies turned into a fight for survival when a barrage of gunfire rang out.
"I grabbed Elizabeth and pulled her down and we hid behind our seats," Pourciau said.
"Did not see the guy at all. We were thankfully far enough up and we ducked down very quickly, so I wasn't looking that direction or looking for someone," Sumrall added.
"We were hiding down there for a little while, just holding still, praying and then while we were down there, that's when I felt like a huge 2x4 smack my leg. I was like, 'Oh, this is real. I've been shot,'" Pourciau said.
Pourciau needed a hero in the chaotic aftermath of the movie theater massacre, and she found one in Eric Wilkins.
"I was one of the last people out, and I just happened to look down to my right and she just happened to be the first person laying there," said Wilkins.
Wilkins was one of several heroes who emerged and it was a good thing because at the moment he found her, she had been separated from Sumrall. Because he had medical training, he knew what to do.
"Physically what I did is, I got down by her leg where you could see the wound about two, three inches below her knee," explained Wilkins. "I just put pressure, and while the other guy who was there just held her hand. He tried talking to her. I tried talking to her. Probably asked her the same questions like three or four times."
Eventually, without an ambulance available, Wilkins and others put her in a police car and got her to the hospital.
President Barack Obama stopped by Pourciau's hospital room Sunday evening. He offered words to comfort Pourciau and Sumrall. He also complimented Pourciau on her beautiful smile and said it was encouraging to see in wake of all that has happened.
The massacre left 12 people dead and 58 injured. Police said Holmes planned the attack with "calculation and deliberation."
The shooting was the worst in the U.S. since the Nov. 5, 2009, attack at Fort Hood, Texas. An Army psychiatrist was charged with killing 13 soldiers and civilians and wounding more than two dozen others.
Mass shooting at Dark Knight premiereBaton Rouge teen among wounded in theater shootingBaton Rouge theaters take precautions after deadly shooting in COFamily, friends open up about lives of loved ones