Updated 3:55pm EST: The NY Daily News has updated their story that 71 people in total were shot, with 12 of those people killed. The suspect has been identified as 24-year-old James Holmes, 24, a former University of Colorado medical school student. Of Holmes, who’s hair was painted red, “He said he was the Joker, enemy of Batman,” according to NYC Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly. Warner Bros., the studio that released The Dark Knight Rises, announced that in light of the events they have cancelled the Paris premiere of the film.
Fourteen people are confirmed dead and up to 50 people injured on Friday at a movie theater in Aurora, Colorado, during a midnight showing of The Dark Knight Rises, according to various sources, including MSNBC.
Initial reports are that minutes after the film began, a gunman threw tear gas into one of the theaters showing the new Batman movie at the Century 16 Movie Theaters at the Aurora Town Center, located about 10 miles from Denver. The gumman then opened fire on the crowd. Ten people are confirmed dead while four others died after being taken to local hospitals, with at least 50 other people injured.
Bullets from one theater shot through to an adjoining theater, while attendees rushed to get out.
One report from a witness was that one of the gunman was a 6-foot-tall man dressed in black wearing a riot helmet, goggles, and bullet-proof vest. A 24-year-old suspect, who was apprehended in the shopping center’s parking lot, was found in possession of a gas mask and two firearms, with ammunition found in his car. Explosives were later found at the suspects home.
The injured were taken to local hospitals, some taken by local police instead of waiting for ambulances, suffered injuries ranging from minor to severe gunshot wounds. Hundreds of witnesses who were not injured were taken to Gateway High School for a debriefing, according to local media reported.
Some news reports state that there was a second gunman that was let in through one of the emergency exits but that has not been confirmed. (Some reports state that local police have not found evidence of more than one shooter.)
Reports from news sources like NY Daily News, Mashable, Huffington Post, and MSNBC have more detailed reports with quotes from witnesses and local authorities, as well as photos from the scene, but at this time, there’s no word yet on suspects’ motives.
Below are videos by people who were at the theater during the time of the shooting.
On April 20, 1999, two students at Columbine High School, about 15 miles from Aurora, CO, opened fire upon students and teachers at the school, killing 12 students and 1 teacher, and wounding 26 others. The Aurora shooting is now reportedly the worst mass shooting to take place in the United States since the November 5, 2009 attack at Fort Hood, Texas, where an Army psychiatrist killed 13 soldiers and civilians and wounded more than two dozen others.
The Dark Knight Rises, which is the third and final installment of director Christopher Nolan’s Batman film franchise, opened in standard and IMAX theaters today, with sold-out midnight showings happening throughout the country with fans lining up hours in advance of the premiere. The Warner Bros. film, which stars Christian Bale and Anne Hathaway, is undoubted the most anticipated movie of the year and is predicted to break box office records this weekend. AMC Theaters reportedly sold more than 100,000 advance tickets for The Dark Knight Rises weeks in advance, while pre-sales for the film through Fandango were outpacing the record-breaking blockbuster of the summer, Marvel’s The Avengers.
This story is developing with details still coming in as police and FBI investigate. We’ll update the story as details come in.