12 Dead After Man Opens Fire At a Colorado ‘The Dark Knight Rises’ Premiere
A truly sad and horrific story has been making headlines this morning after a late night screen of the Dark Knight Rises took an unexpected turn. A gunman opened fire early Friday at a suburban Denver movie theater complex on the opening night of the latest Batman movie The Dark Knight Rises, killing 12 people and injuring at least 38 others, authorities said.
The gunman, who is in custody, stood at the front of the theater and fired into the crowd around 12:30 a.m. MT at a multiplex theater in a mall in Aurora, a community of about 327,000 people about 16 kilometres east of downtown Denver.
“Witnesses tell us he released some sort of canister. They heard a hissing sound and some gas emerged and the gunman opened fire,” Aurora Police Chief Dan Oates said at a news conference.
Police, ambulances and emergency crews swarmed on the scene after frantic calls started flooding the 911 switchboard, officials said.
Initial statements from local police put the number of dead at 14 and the number of injured at 50, but those figures were later revised downward.
Evan, an eyewitness who was at the theater with his wife and three children, said that initially people thought it was part of the show but it soon became “very real”.
“The gunman came through the exit and threw a canister of smoke and then started shooting up the place with a semi-automatic weapon,” he said. “We thought it was part of the movie but it became very real, very quickly. He must have shot 19 or 20 rounds. People were scrambling left and right. Somebody behind us. Maybe a straggler was hit. He said ‘I am hit. He looked like the Terminator. He didn’t say anything. He was just shooting and shooting and shooting.”
Videos of the event have been showing up on YouTube
The attack is the worst mass shooting in Colorado since the Columbine High School massacre of April 20, 1999. Back then, students Eric Harris, 18, and Dylan Klebold, 17, opened fire at the school in the Denver suburb of Littleton, about 15 miles west of Aurora, killing 12 classmates and a teacher and wounding 26 others before killing themselves in the school’s library.