Sunday, Jun 24, 2018
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Hardin County man among injured in Colorado



Gage Hankins, 18, of Forest, Ohio, in Hardin County, was wounded when a gunman began firing in a movie theater in Aurora, Colorado. Hankins was seated in an adjacent theater when a bullet went through a wall and struck his right forearm. Twelve people were killed and dozens wounded in the attack.

Photo Courtesy of the family Enlarge

FOREST, Ohio -- A resident of this Hardin County village was one of the dozens wounded when a gunman fired inside a crowded Denver-area theater Friday during a midnight showing of the final film in the Batman trilogy.

Gage Hankins, 18, son of former Forest Mayor Dave Hankins, was seated in a theater adjacent to the shooting and was wounded in the right forearm by flying shrapnel.

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Patrick Massara, Gage's cousin and a resident of Forest, said Mr. Hankins was taken by emergency medical responders to a hospital where he underwent surgery Friday morning to remove four pieces of shrapnel from his right forearm.

"The surgery went well, it came out very good," Mr. Massara said Friday. "He is expected to be released sometime this afternoon [Mountain time]."

Ms. Massara said police speculated that one or more bullets went through the wall separating Theater 9, where the mass shooting occurred, from Theater 8, where Mr. Hankins was watching the movie.

The 2-inch wound from the shrapnel caused Mr. Hankins "excruciating pain," Dave Hankins, an employee of Riverdale Local Schools in Mount Blanchard, Ohio, told a Findlay newspaper.

Ms. Massara said Gage Hankins was at the theater with his younger brother Jackson, 14, and a group of about 10 friends.

The Hankins family was in Denver for the 15th annual FRIENDS Convention, a three-day conference for people who stutter.

"After hours [at the convention] people go out and they have fun," Mr. Massara said.

"This is just a group thing they decided to do."

Gage Hankins graduated from Riverdale High School in May.

The village of Forest is in Hardin County's northeast corner at the Wyandot County border, about 70 miles south of Toledo.

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