12 Dead, 38 Injured After Shooting At Midnight Release of The Dark Knight Rises
A midnight showing of The Dark Knight Rises turned tragic early Friday morning when a gunman opened fire on a theatre in Aurora, Colorado, leaving 12 dead and another 38 injured. The youngest victim of the incident was just three months old, and many other victims are still in critical condition in local hospitals.
According to CNN, the gunman entered the theatre through an emergency exit. He then stood in front of the screen, threw canisters of tear gas into the audience, then opened fire as they began to flee out of the theatre. He was reportedly wearing a gas mask, and used four guns as part of the attack; an assault rifle, a shotgun and two handguns.
Police were able to apprehend who they believe to be the gunman in a parking lot behind the theatre shortly after the incident took place. According to police, he still had two guns on him, and he submitted to arrest without putting up any sort of a fight.
While in police custody the suspect made mention of an explosive device in his apartment building. Police quickly rushed over to the building and evacuated all of the tenants, as well as those living in surrounding buildings. There is no word yet on if they were able to find any explosive device, but the police did say that they found ìitems of interest in and around the apartment.
Aurora police called all available officers to the theater, and with the FBI responding as well, there were hundreds of law enforcement officers there to help with the situation. As of Friday morning, police are still searching the suspectís apartment in an attempt to gain some background information and determine why he might have committed this horrible tragedy. They have not ruled out that he was acting as part of a terrorist plot, but the commonly held theory right now is that he was working alone.
The Dark Knight Rises was one of the most anticipated movies of the summer, and itís midnight showing was packed in theatres all across the Country. It is a particularly violent movie, and some parallels between the movie violence and the violence that ensued will presumably be drawn by analysts in the near future. Whether or not the actual movie had anything to do with the actions of the gunman remains to be seen.
According to witnesses that escaped the theatre, some of the patrons were slow to react to the attack because they believed that the smoke and gunfire were just special effects that were being used to enhance the experience and make the opening showing of the movie special. They quickly realized that it was not part of the show, and a stampede out of the theatre ensued. There is reportedly cell phone video taken by someone who was in the theatre that shows some audience members leaving the theatre with a significant amount of blood on their clothes. The video also shows what appears to be a pretty young child dressed up in a Batman costume leaving the theatre at well.
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