BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - Bonnie Kate Pourciau-Zoghbi took the witness stand Wednesday morning, three years after being severely wounded in a massacre at a movie theater in Aurora, Colorado.
The 21-year-old woman from Baton Rouge explained to the jury what she went through the night of June 20, 2012 after suspected shooter James Holmes made his way into the theater.
"I started to hear gunshots and I ducked down right away and my friend, Elizabeth, was frozen in her seat and so I grabbed her hand and pulled her down beside me and in the midst of all that, when we were on the floor, there was screaming and smoke and shots being fired and I then felt a big bang in my left knee and it jolted my entire body," Pourciau-Zoghbi said.
Bonnie Kate wore what her mother, Kathleen Pourciau called her "crown of flowers" to the courthouse. Bonnie Kate smiled while testifying that her "knee was gushing blood."
Bonnie Kate suffered traumatic knee and leg injuries as a result of the shooting and has endured leg and life-saving surgeries, according to her doctors. The chance night out at the movies for Bonnie Kate and her best friend became shrouded in terror and darkness and fear and sadness.
Bonnie Kate told the court, even in all the trauma and chaos, something else much stronger prevailed.
"Honestly, this sounds crazy, but I felt peace. I've never felt the amount of peace in that moment when I thought I wasn't going to make it and I thought I wasn't going to live, I just felt like God wrapped me up and I wasn't scared, God was really near to me," she testified.
Holmes' lawyers hurled objection after objection, but the judge with rare exception allowed her testimony to be heard.
Bonnie Kate told the jury she's had seven different surgeries because of the shooting and faces more going forward. She still needs crutches to support her and used them coming into and moving around the courtroom.
Bonnie Kate left the courtroom without any cross examination. One of the lawyers for the state could be heard whispering, "Thank you, Bonnie Kate" as she left.
Holmes is accused of killing 12 people and injuring 70 others in his solo shooting rampage. He is pleading not guilty by reason of insanity.
Pourciau-Zoghbi testified for more than an hour.
The prosecution is expected to wrap up its case Friday.