Wednesday, July 30, 2014

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Brooklyn Man Recovering After Being Shot In Colorado Massacre

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A Brooklyn man was among the dozens injured in the Aurora, Colorado shooting that killed 12 and injured 58. NY1's Natasha Ghoneim filed the following report.

Christopher Rapoza and his rock-dance band The Toothaches were supposed to be wowing fans as the headliners at The Bitter End in Greenwich Village on Friday evening. Instead, the 28-year-old bass guitarist is recovering from a gunshot wound and the trauma of bearing witness to the massacre in Aurora.

"I thought 'wow, the bass player got shot,' said Dan Fogel, a promoter with The Bitter End. "Thank God he didn't get killed and he's going to be fine."

On his Facebook page, Rapoza said a bullet grazed his back after a "psycho" started spraying the crowd inside the movie theater with bullets. He posted this photo of himself at the hospital on another social media site.

He told fans he and a friend "are both still a little rattled but in good spirits at the moment. Physically, I feel fine but none worse for the wear. Mostly, we are concerned for the victims and their families that didn't have it so easy."

In Rapoza's Bedford-Stuyvesant neighborhood, people were absorbing the news that someone they knew came so close to losing his life in an act of violence on the other side of the country.

"It's shocking to see someone so close to home all the way in Colorado and we're in Brooklyn, New York," said neighbor Darnell Davis.

"I'm sorry that someone so close to me, that someone I know right in the community," said Rev. Issac Mickens, who is also a neighbor. "That's a tragedy."

Fogel said he saw red, stopped reading and picked up the phone when he received an email from the band's manager saying the band was canceling.

"I yelled at her and she said, 'hold on, did you read the whole email?'" he said. "I said, 'No, I just read you're canceling and I'm not very happy.' She said 'Our bass player got shot last night. We're not playing the show.' And I was like, 'Wow, that's the greatest excuse I've ever heard.'"

Fogel turned on the news and then realized, along with the rest of America, that Rapoza was among the dozens injured in the serial shooting. Fortunately, Rapoza will live to perform again.

Raposa will be back in the city soon. His band is slated to perform in Brooklyn next weekend.

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