(GOLDEN, Colo.) — A 16-year-old boy severely wounded by a bullet that tore through his brain during the July 20 Aurora, Colo., theater massacre was well enough on Thursday to meet with President Obama.
Yousef Gharbi and his mother Amee met backstage with the president for a few minutes just before a campaign rally in Golden, Colo., Obama campaign spokeswoman Jen Psaki said.
The president, Psaki said, was “in awe” of how Yousef is recovering.
“He’s up walking and talking and doing extremely well,” said Psaki, who spoke to reporters on board Air Force One as the president made his way from Colorado back to Washington, D.C.
On July 22, Yousef was in a hospital intensive care unit suffering from a gunshot wound to the head. It was the same day Obama came to Colorado to meet with victims, families and first responders.
During that July visit, Psaki said Obama met Yousef’s mother Amee, telling her, “I hope when he’s recovered you’ll come back and see me when I’m back in town.”
On Thursday, Yousef and his mother did exactly that, apparently getting tickets to the campaign rally on their own, without any “special treatment” from the campaign, Psaki said. The pair was recognized, she said, by campaign staff who helped arrange the short meeting with the president.
The Aurora theater shooting took place during a midnight screening of The Dark Knight Rises. Twelve people were killed, and 58 were wounded. Accused gunman James Holmes is in custody, facing multiple charges of murder and attempted murder.
Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio
Ryan Browne and Evan Perez, CNN
Stephen Collinson, CNN