(CNN) -- Seconds after a gunman shot Allie Young in the neck in a crowded Colorado theater, a friend, Stephanie Davies, pulled her into an aisle, put pressure on her wound and dialed 911. Young told her friend to run, but Davies refused.
President Barack Obama gave that account Sunday night in Aurora, praising Davies and others for heroism amid chaos and bloodshed in the shooting that killed 12 and wounded 58.
The women had settled in alongside others early Friday for a midnight showing of "The Dark Knight Rises," the latest installment in the Batman series.
Suddenly a gunman threw canisters only a few feet from where the pair sat.
Young, 19, instinctively stood to act or warn others. A shot ripped into her neck. She collapsed, blood spurting from the wound, Obama said.
Instead of running or hiding, Davies, 21, pulled Young into the aisle and put pressure on the wound with one hand and dialed 911 with the other, Obama said.
"I don't know how many people at any age would have the presence of mind that Stephanie did, or the courage that Allie showed," the president said. "They represent what's best in us, and they assure us that out of this darkness, a brighter day is going to come."
When the SWAT team arrived, Davies helped carry Young to an ambulance.
Because of Davies' actions, Young is going to be fine, the president said.
Obama flew to Aurora on Sunday evening and met with families at a local hospital for more than two hours before delivering brief remarks to the media.