A nurse from Monroe Carell Jr. Children's Hospital at Vanderbilt helped provide aid to victims of last week's fatal shooting in Colorado.
Mia Bransford was at the Century 16 Theater in Aurora, Colorado seeing the latest Batman movie with her younger sister, Marisa Sharp.
Bransford and her sister were in one of the three showings of The Dark Knight Rises, but were not in the theater targeted by gunman James Holmes.
The registered nurse told Nashville's News 2 after shots were fired in the nearby theater she and other moviegoers were instructed to evacuate the facility.
“A fire alarm started to go off, there was a strobe that you could see and we heard a recorded voice saying we needed to evacuate through the emergency exit,” she recalled.
Bransford said she initially thought the warnings and alarm were part of the movie, especially since the film continued to play.
“My first thought was it was either part of the movie or someone had pulled a prank or it wasn't real. The lights were still down, the movie was still going so it just didn't seem like anything was happening.”
Upon exiting the theater, Bransford said she saw responding officers and injured people.
“I heard people saying, 'My friend's been shot' or Somebody's been shot.' I was just trying to make sense of a situation that wasn't making any sense at all,” Bransford said.
Bransford reported that she and a firefighter provided assistance to several victims in an area near the rear of the theater, including one person who suffered from a head wound and wrist pain and another person who suffered a severe leg wound.
“Taking care of hurt or wounded patients is just something that I know,” Bransford told Nashville's News 2, “It helped me to be able to somewhat grasp what was going on, function and stay calm and not add to the chaos or anything like that.”
Twelve people were killed in the massacre and dozens of others were injured.
Bransford said she and her sister remained on the scene until 4 a.m.
“It was definitely a very traumatic experience,” she said, “It's very overwhelming. I'm a quiet person, generally very laid back. I never thought I'd be a part of anything like this or see anything like this.”
Bransford added, “This is something that has just made a huge impact. I don't think I'll ever be able to forget this.”
Bransford who was originally in Colorado for a family reunion said the incident still seems surreal.
She added she has no desire to go to a movie theater anytime in the near future.