The first sundown since the shooting in Aurora brought back scores of national media -- the likes of which haven't been seen in the area since the 2008 Democratic National Convention -- turned the sidewalks into outcroppings of candles and brought a small window of reflection for residents.
Aurora residents Cierra Human, 21, Greg Duran, 22, and Arielle Merelli, 21, sat on a curb across the street from the Century 16 movie theater where the shooting had taken place less than 24 hours before staring into the glow of their handheld candles.
"We're just kinda dumbfounded at this point," Human told The Huffington Post. "That the only reason we didn't go was because (Duran) had to work at 5 this morning, and that's never stopped us before, we just decided not to go, so the idea that we could have been in there and that I could have lost (Duran) or vice versa."
She added that she, Duran and Merelli live 10 minutes from the theater, see movies at the Century 16 theater regularly and had been there just two weeks ago.
In the early hours of Friday morning, suspected gunman James Eagen Holmes, 24, had carried three assault weapons into theater number 9 killing 12 people and injuring 70. In the weeks leading up to the shooting police say he had purchased 6,000 rounds of ammunition and acquired four guns online "legally."
As of Friday night a list of victims who died in the shooting wasn't yet made available to media while police continued to seek out and notify the families of those who'd been killed.
"Two of my 13-year-old sister's friends were here last night," Human said, adding that they came out okay. "But we talked to another guy and his daughter's friend was killed and it's just heartbreaking and shocking that this could happen, especially so close to home."