On July 20, 2012, a gunman shot and killed 12 people in a packed movie theater in Aurora, Colorado. One of the victims was Alex Sullivan. He was celebrating his birthday at the movies that night — something he had done since he was a small child. Alex and a group of friends planned to see a midnight showing of the latest Batman film, just as he turned 27.

Five years later, his parents, Tom and Terry Sullivan, sat down at StoryCorps to remember him.


After their son was killed, Tom and Terry Sullivan turned to a close network of friends and family for support. Tom’s longtime friend, Dan Van Minnen, was one of those people.


Originally aired July 14, 2017, on NPR’s Morning Edition.

Top photo: Tom and Terry Sullivan.
Middle photo: Terry Sullivan holds a photo of her son, Alex.
Bottom photo: Tom and his friend Dan Van Minnen.