Culture News

Shooting at a Midnight Screening of The Dark Knight Rises Leaves 12 Dead, 50 Injured in Colorado (UPDATED)

See also: Aurora Shooting coverage on our sister publication, Westword

A mass shooting took place last night during a midnight screening of Christopher Nolan's The Dark Knight Rises in Aurora, Colorado.

While initial reports stated 14 people had died, authorities have lowered the number to 12, with at least 50 people injured.

ABC News reports suspect "James Holmes, 24, of North Aurora, was apprehended at the scene clad in a bullet-proof vest and riot helmet."

Authorities say that according to witnesses, the suspect used tear gas prior to opening fire, during the movie, that there was much confusion in the theater as people tried to evacuate, and that stray bullets also broke through the theater's walls into another screening.

Warner Brothers, which produced The Dark Knight Rises released this statement this morning:

"Warner Bros. is deeply saddened to learn about this shocking incident. We extend our sincere sympathies to the families and loved ones of the victims at this tragic time."

President Obama released this statement shortly after:

"Michelle and I are shocked and saddened by the horrific and tragic shooting in Colorado. Federal and local law enforcement are still responding, and my administration will do everything that we can to support the people of Aurora in this extraordinarily difficult time. We are committed to bringing whoever was responsible to justice, ensuring the safety of our people, and caring for those who have been wounded."

The Romney campaign also released this statement:

"Ann and I are deeply saddened by the news of the senseless violence that took the lives of 15 people in Colorado and injured dozens more...We are praying for the families and loved ones of the victims during this time of deep shock and immense grief. We expect that the person responsible for this terrible crime will be quickly brought to justice."

Update 9:39 a.m.: Aurora police have Holmes in custody. Holmes claims his apartment in Aurora, Colorado is "booby-trapped" with explosives. Police are currently searching Holmes' apartment. "We could be here for hours or we could be here for days," said Police Chief Dan Oates to KOAA this morning.

Holmes was studying to get his PhD in neuroscience at the University of Colorado Denver. He withdrew from the program a month ago. Photographs of Holmes (including the one on the right from CU) are currently circulating on a number of social media sites.

Holmes' family released this statement this morning:

Our hearts go out to those who were involved in this tragedy and to the families and friends of those involved. We ask that the media respect our privacy during this difficult time. Our family is cooperating with authorities in both San Diego, California and Aurora, Colorado. We are still trying to process this information and we appreciate that people will respect our privacy.

Stay tuned to Jackalope Ranch and Westword, our sister outlet in Denver, for more details ...

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Claire Lawton
Contact: Claire Lawton