Mequon native and movie buff Carey Rottman became part of a horrific national story early Friday, when he and a friend were injured by a gunman who hurled a gas canister and then opened fire during a midnight showing of the new Batman movie, "The Dark Knight Rises," at a crowded Denver-area theater.
"Shot in the leg at Batman. Where is he when you need him. Please pray for everyone here," Rottman posted on his Facebook page at 4 a.m. from a hospital emergency room.
Rottman's friend was shot twice, but was recovering at a different hospital.
Comments flooded 27-year-old Rottman's Facebook page within hours of his post, when friends awoke to the news.
"Crazy man, I'm glad you're alright!" one friend responded. "Good thing you have tree trunks for legs."
Rottman called his parents at 2 a.m. from the hospital, said his dad, Thiensville dentist Dale Rottman.
"It's the phone call you don't want to get," Dale Rottman said from his son's hospital room, his voice still shaking after catching the first flight he and his wife, Colleen Crane, could get from Milwaukee to Denver at 9 a.m. CST.
When Carey called his parents, he told them he was in the emergency room triage because he had been shot. He wanted them to know he was OK, and asked them to fly to Denver, Dale Rottman said.
There was a lot of background noise in the emergency room during the call, and the reception wasn't good.
There hasn't been time to discuss any details of the shooting, or where Rottman and his friend were in the theater at the time they were shot, his father said.
Carey Rottman had surgery Friday morning to close a gunshot wound to his thigh. Damage was confined to muscle; the bullet didn't hit a tendon or artery, his dad said.
His parents arrived after surgery had already started.
"It was a long night," Dale Rottman said.
Carey Rottman just married his college sweetheart, Jessica Thron, on June 23. The couple met at Winona State University. She's from Stillwater, Minn., and they were married in an outdoor wedding in Stillwater.
His bride did not go to the midnight movie.
"It's a good thing she didn't," Dale Rottman said Friday.
Rottman graduated from Homestead High School in 2003. He graduated from Winona State University in 2008 with a bachelor's degree in business administration.
After graduation, Rottman moved to Denver, where he became a manager of Fastenal, an international company that makes fasteners.
He has been a sales manager for Coors Distributing Co., in Denver the past five months, his dad said.