"My memory is only of the muzzle - the flash," Barton said from his hospital bed in at the Medical Center of Aurora. "That's probably part of the reason I thought it was fireworks because I didn't even see a figure behind the gun."
Barton thought someone was playing a prank at first with fireworks and smoke bomb.
"I don't really remember people starting to scream until I got hit," Barton said. "Then, it was like mass mayhem."
He said the whole thing seemed surreal.
"I was looking at my hand, for a time, and for a time I actually thought it had been blown off cause I couldn't feel it at all," Barton said. "So, I was kind of relieved to see it still attached to my body."
Dr. James Denton is a trauma surgeon at the Medical Center of Aurora. He says Barton, 22, has been very brave.
"He's truly a remarkable young man and he came in with some critical injuries," said Denton. "He was a victim of shotgun wounds."
Denton believes Barton will make a strong recovery.
Barton and a childhood friend were riding across the country when they decided to see a movie with friends Friday night. Despite his injuries, Barton says he wants to try to finish the ride. He says he doesn't want to let the shooter win.
"In some sense, I'm sorry he had to cope with whatever was going on in his life by doing this," said Barton. "I don't think I could say anything to him that would make me feel better or him feel worse. It's just, I hope he regrets it."
(KUSA-TV © 2012 Multimedia Holdings Corporation)