12 killed at 'Dark Knight Rises' midnight screening at Colorado theater

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  1. Prinnctopher's Belt

    Prinnctopher's Belt Antiquities Friend SF Supporter

    12 killed, 38 hurt at 'Dark Knight Rises' midnight screening at Colorado theater

    Jul 20, 1:06 PM EDT

    By THOMAS PEIPERT
    Associated Press


    AURORA, Colo. (AP) -- A graduate student in a gas mask barged into a crowded Denver-area theater during a midnight showing of the new Batman movie Friday, hurled a gas canister and then opened fire, killing 12 people and injuring at least 50 others in one of the deadliest mass shootings in recent U.S. history.

    When the smoke began to spread, some moviegoers thought it was a stunt that was part of the "The Dark Knight Rises," one of the most highly anticipated films of the summer. They saw a silhouette of a person in the haze near the screen, pointing a gun at the crowd and then shooting.

    "There were bullet (casings) just falling on my head. They were burning my forehead," Jennifer Seeger said, adding that the gunman, dressed like a SWAT team member, fired steadily, stopping only to reload.


    "Every few seconds it was just: Boom, boom, boom," she said. "He would reload and shoot and anyone who would try to leave would just get killed."

    The suspect was taken into custody near a car behind the theater and was identified by federal law enforcement officials as 24-year-old James Holmes.

    Holmes was studying neuroscience in a Ph.D. program at the University of Colorado-Denver
    , university spokeswoman Jacque Montgomery said. Holmes enrolled a year ago and was in the process of withdrawing at the time of the shootings, Montgomery said.

    Authorities gave no motive for the attack. The FBI said there was no indication of ties to any terrorist groups.

    Holmes had an assault rifle, a shotgun and two pistols, a federal law enforcement official said, speaking on the condition of anonymity because the investigation was still unfolding.

    FBI agents and police used a hook and ladder fire truck to reach Holmes' apartment in Aurora, police Chief Dan Oates said. They put a camera at the end of a 12-foot pole inside the apartment and discovered the unit was booby-trapped. Authorities evacuated five buildings as they tried to figure how to disarm the flammable and explosive material.

    At least 24 people were being treated at Denver-area hospitals, some of them for chemical exposure apparently related to canisters thrown by the gunman. Some of those hurt were children, including a 4-month-old baby, who was treated a hospital and released.


    Police released a statement from Holmes' family: "Our hearts go out to those who were involved in this tragedy and to the families and friends of those involved."

    The movie opened across the world Friday with midnight showings in the U.S. The shooting prompted officials to cancel the red-carpet premiere in Paris, with workers pulling down the display at a theater on the Champs-Elysees. Around the U.S., police and some movie theaters stepped up security for daytime showings of the movie, though many fans waiting in line said they were not worried about their safety.

    President Barack Obama said he was saddened by the "horrific and tragic shooting," pledging that his administration was "committed to bringing whoever was responsible to justice, ensuring the safety of our people, and caring for those who have been wounded."

    It was the worst mass shooting in the U.S. since the Nov. 5, 2009, attack at Fort Hood, Texas. An Army psychiatrist was charged with killing 13 soldiers and civilians and wounding more than two dozen others.

    In Colorado, it was the deadliest since the Columbine High School massacre on April 20, 1999, when two students opened fire in the Denver suburb of Littleton, killing 12 classmates and a teacher and wounding 26 others before killing themselves. Columbine High is about 12 miles from the theater.

    Friday's attack began shortly after midnight at the multiplex theater.

    The film has several scenes of public mayhem - a hallmark of superhero movies. In one scene, the main villain Bane leads an attack on the stock exchange and, in another, leads a shooting and bombing rampage on a packed football stadium.

    The gunman released a gas that smelled like pepper spray from a green canister, Seeger said. "I thought it was showmanship. I didn't think it was real," she said.

    Seeger said she was in the second row, about four feet from the gunman, when he pointed a gun at her face. At first, "I was just a deer in headlights. I didn't know what to do," she said. Then she ducked to the ground as the gunman shot people seated behind her.

    She said she began crawling toward an exit when she saw a girl of about 14 "lying lifeless on the stairs." She saw a man with a bullet wound in his back and tried to check his pulse, but "I had to go. I was going to get shot."

    Witness Shayla Roeder said she saw a teenage girl on the ground bleeding outside the theater. "She just had this horrible look in her eyes. .... We made eye contact and I could tell she was not all right," Roeder said.

    Police, ambulances and emergency crews swarmed on the scene after frantic calls started flooding the 911 switchboard. Officers came running in and telling people to leave the theater, Salina Jordan told the Denver Post. She said some police were carrying and dragging bodies.

    Hayden Miller told KUSA-TV that he heard several shots. "Like little explosions going on and shortly after that we heard people screaming," he told the station. Hayden said at first he thought it was part of a louder movie next door. But then he saw "people hunched over leaving theater."

    ---

    Associated Press writers Kristen Wyatt, Steven K. Paulson, P. Solomon Banda, Ivan Moreno and Mead Gruver in Aurora, Dan Elliott and Colleen Slevin in Denver and Alicia A. Caldwell and Eileen Sullivan in Washington contributed to this report.



    http://hosted.ap.org/dynamic/storie...ME&TEMPLATE=DEFAULT&CTIME=2012-07-20-13-06-34
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 20, 2012
  2. Petal

    Petal SF dreamer Staff Alumni SF Supporter

    Re: 12 killed, 38 hurt at 'Dark Knight Rises' midnight screening at Colorado theater

    What the hell gets into these peoples minds? This is horrendous. Just awful. R.I.P to the victims.
     
  3. lightbeam

    lightbeam Antiquities Friend

    Re: 12 killed, 38 hurt at 'Dark Knight Rises' midnight screening at Colorado theater

    Woah! That is insane. Why on earth would someone do this? He went into the same field that I was going to go into. I was going to get my BS in Neuroscience a while back before my illness took over.

    It amazes me that more students are going off the deep end. It's sad.

    Much love to the victims
     
  4. TheLoneWolf

    TheLoneWolf Well-Known Member

    Re: 12 killed, 38 hurt at 'Dark Knight Rises' midnight screening at Colorado theater

    My first instinct is to say that the world is going crazy, but then I remember that the world has always been crazy.

    Also sending my sympathies to the victims and their families.
     
  5. IV2010

    IV2010 Well-Known Member

    Re: 12 killed, 38 hurt at 'Dark Knight Rises' midnight screening at Colorado theater

    this is just so, so sad...all those families out there grieving the loss of these innocent victims..
    what a seriously disturbed human being he is!
    my sympathies also to the victims and their families.
     
  6. OhneDich

    OhneDich Well-Known Member

    Re: 12 killed, 38 hurt at 'Dark Knight Rises' midnight screening at Colorado theater

    Agree with all you've said. This world is a land of crazy people (we see such horrible and insane things everyday) and what James Holmes did is something so bad that I have no words to describe. But let's remember he as well needs help. Hating someone will not make anybody feel better.

    RIP all who have died, strength and peace to everyone related to this tragedy.
     
  7. Acy

    Acy Mama Bear - TLC, Common Sense Staff Member Safety & Support

    Re: 12 killed, 38 hurt at 'Dark Knight Rises' midnight screening at Colorado theater

    It's tragic for all those killed and injured and for their families and friends. And also for the community who loses a sense of "safety." Gunshots have been in the news in my own area lately and I feel very - disillusioned, sad, scared for the world.

    My condolences to the families and friends of victims everywhere. :sad:
     
  8. jimk

    jimk Staff Alumni

    Re: 12 killed, 38 hurt at 'Dark Knight Rises' midnight screening at Colorado theater

    Holmes was educated and intelligent according to some that know him..what in god's name causes someone to load up on guns, ammo and open fire wildly in a packed movie theater??? I have some moments of insanity but nothing close to this..

    Do not understand
     
  9. AsphyxiateOnMisery

    AsphyxiateOnMisery Well-Known Member

    Re: 12 killed, 38 hurt at 'Dark Knight Rises' midnight screening at Colorado theater

    What I don't understand is why the hell people thought it's part of the show when someone tries to gas them and shoots rounds into the air.

    As well as the fact that if a few people just came together, or even just a bigger dude (the shooter didn't exactly look like a big, tough guy...) and tackled this dude, he'd fall flat on his face and stop shooting people. I mean, not if you're far away from him obviously and he'd see you running up to him, but if he was right beside you.
     
  10. OhneDich

    OhneDich Well-Known Member

    Re: 12 killed, 38 hurt at 'Dark Knight Rises' midnight screening at Colorado theater

    I guess people are afraid of guns, that's why they didn't do anything. In my opinion, almost nobody wants to suffer the risk of being killed to be a savior in this case...
     
  11. OhneDich

    OhneDich Well-Known Member

    Re: 12 killed, 38 hurt at 'Dark Knight Rises' midnight screening at Colorado theater

    I know what you mean. But a crime is not only because of 1 thing. Hate + insanity + i don't know what perhaps were the cause of it all. We have no idea of the life this guy was living, which thoughts he was having (I am not particularly defending anyone, ok?). But for sure nobody understands.

    About being educated and intelligent: any person with antisocial personality disorder could be educated, intelligent, go to church every sunday and smile to everyone. So being a "nice and shy guy" should not be considered so much...
     
  12. Dave_N

    Dave_N Banned Member

    Re: 12 killed, 38 hurt at 'Dark Knight Rises' midnight screening at Colorado theater

    As a legal gun owner myself, the only thing that would have saved these people would be if there was a cop or an armed civilian in the same theatre watching the movie at the time. When a maniac with a gun enters a crowded area and opens fire, you have to shoot him immediately to minimize the casualties. Though you have to be a marksman to take a shot like that. Can you imagine what would happen if you accidentally shot someone else while aiming at the gunman?
     
  13. Dave_N

    Dave_N Banned Member

    Re: 12 killed, 38 hurt at 'Dark Knight Rises' midnight screening at Colorado theater

    RIP to all of the innocent victims who were wounded and killed by this maniac. I hope he gets the death penalty.
     
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