By Jueseppi B.
The shooting occurred during a showing of the latest Batman movie The Dark Knight Rises, police said.
The violence erupted about 12:30 a.m. MDTas the gunman stood at the front of one of the Century 16 theaters at the Aurora Mall.
“Witnesses tell us he released some sort of canister. They heard a hissing sound and some gas emerged and the gunman opened fire,” Oates said at a news conference.
One suspect is in custody and there’s no evidence of any additional shooters, Oates said.
There was no immediate word of any motive.
Witness Hayden Miller told KUSA-TV that he was inside Theater 16 and 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.”
She said emergency crews told her staff to prepare for several more patients from the shooting scene.
“We’re on standby to receive,” she said.
Aurora is located on the southeast outskirts of Denver, about 10 miles from downtown.
(CNN) – At least 14 people were killed and 50 were wounded when a gunman opened fire during an early Friday morning screening of the new Batman movie at an Aurora, Colorado, theater, Police Chief Dan Oates told reporters.
The man suspected of opening fire on the crowded theater was taken into custody, Oates said.
The heavily armed suspect, who was wearing a bulletproof vest, was apprehended by police in a parking lot at the theater, Frank Fania, a police spokesman told CNN. The identity of the suspect has not immediately been released.
“We do no have evidence of a second gunman,” Oates said.
Of the wounded, at least 20 were being treated at the University of Colorado Hospital, said spokeswoman Jacque Montgomery. All of the wounded suffered from gunshot wounds, which ranged from minor to critical, she said.
“They’re arriving by police, by ambulance. Some are walking in,” she said.
The shooting incident occurred during the showing of “The Dark Knight Rises” at the Century Aurora 16 theater, police and witnesses said.
“We saw people running around and screaming,” a man, who was not identified, told KUSA.
He said there was confusion in the theater when the shooting began because many believed the sound of gunfire was coming from the movie next door.
Oates said that the suspect used some sort of “smoke device” before opening fire in the theater.
Witnesses, however, told KUSA that the gunman kicked in an emergency exit door and threw a smoke bomb into the darkened theater before opening fire.
More updated reports:
By NBC News’ David Wyllie, Daniel Strieff, Ian Johnston and F. Brinley Bruton
Updated at 6:25 a.m. ET: At least 14 people were killed early Friday when at least one gunman opened fire at a midnight screening of the summer blockbuster ”The Dark Knight Rises” near Denver, authorities and witnesses said.
Aurora police chief Dan Oates told reporters that 10 people died at the scene and four others died after being taken to local hospitals. At least 50 other people were injured, Oates said.
One suspect was apprehended in the shopping center’s parking lot, Oates said.
The incident occurred in the Century 16 Movie Theaters at the Aurora Town Center, police told NBC News. Aurora is a suburb less than 10 miles east of downtown Denver.
NBC station KUSA-Denver cited a witness as seeing a black-clad 6-foot-tall man wearing a riot helmet, goggles and bullet-proof vest. The witness and her boyfriend crawled to the emergency exit, KUSA said.
The suspect was found in possession of a gas mask and two firearms, Oates said. Ammunition was found in the suspect’s car, police said.
The police chief said there was no evidence of additional shooters.
The suspect’s apartment building in north Aurora was evacuated after the suspect made a statement to police about possible explosives at his home, Oates said.
Witnesses told reporters that gunfire erupted during a shootout scene.
‘I’m in shock’
Tear gas also went off in the theater, Stuart said. She added that bullets had passed from one theater into an adjoining one.
One young man told KUSA that he was out front of the theater with friends when the shooting broke out.
“Next thing you know you hear ‘boom’ like tear gas, a bomb. … Then you hear gunshots go off, like a fully automatic weapon. [There were] like 50-60 gunshots,” he told KUSA.
“I was just worried about getting out of there,” he told KUSA.
The man, who did not give his name, said he heard gunfire continue for at least 20 minutes.
“People were coming out of there screaming, some of the people were coming out of there bleeding. … People were coming out with their shirts covered in blood,” he said.
As he left the theater, eyewitness Hayden Miller told KUSA said people ran up to him and said “there was a gunman setting off bombs and shooting people. … He wasn’t giving anyone a chance to get out … It hasn’t really hit me. I’m in shock. it’s insane that this can happen in a movie theater where people had gone to have fun.”
Another eyewitness, whose name was not given, told KUSA that he “saw at least 4, maybe 5 people limping, slightly wounded. … I saw one girl covered in blood.
“I don’t know whose little girl that was, but my heart goes out to them. … A cop came walking through the front door … holding a little girl in his arms and she wasn’t moving, she wasn’t moving,” the young man, whose voiced cracked as he spoke, told KUSA.
The Denver Post quoted witness, Bejamin Fernandez, 30, as saying that people ran from the theater as shots rang out.
Fernandez told the Post that he saw people falling, including one young girl.
Salina Jordan, 19, who was in Theater 8, told the Post she saw one girl struck in the cheek and others in the stomach, including a girl who looked to be around 9 years old.
Jordan told the Post that someone ran into her theater yelling, “they’re shooting out here!” An alarm came on, Jordan said, announcing there was a “murder in [the] theater.”
Jordan told the newspaper she saw police carrying bodies out of the theater as well as officers opening fire.
Local emergency crews from several cities, including Denver and Boulder, converged on the scene, Stuart told Sky News.
Cathy Canzanora, a 911 dispatcher, told NBC News that emergency dispatchers were deluged with calls from “everybody who had cellphones in the theater” at 12:39 a.m. Friday local time (2:39 a.m. ET).
The dispatcher said she could not reveal what people told her but said that they reported “that there had been a shooting so we got the police and the fire department and the ambulance there as soon as they could.”
Police cars transport the wounded
The injured were being transported to several local hospitals, police told NBC.
KOA’s Stuart said that police officers were taking victims to hospitals in their cars and not waiting for ambulances.
Justin Bentzinger, a house supervisor at the Swedish Medical Center, told NBC News they were treating three patients. Two were in critical condition, the third was in fair condition.
Kalena Wilkinson, a public information officer for Denver Health, said six patients were taken to that hospital, with one in a critical condition and the other five in ” fair” conditions.
Tracy Weise, of the public relations department at Aurora Medical Center, told NBC News they were treating 12 patients with a range of injuries from minor to critical.
“We have a variety of ages, quite a few 20s, teenagers, that kind of age,” she said.
Jacque Montgomery, a spokesperson for University of Colorado Hospital, told NBC News that they were treating 20 patients from the shooting.
“Injuries range from minor to severe gunshot injuries,” she said.
“The majority are adults. … I know we have a handful of teenagers,” Montgomery added.
Hundreds of witnesses who have not been injured have been taken to Gateway High School for a debriefing, local media reported.
“The Dark Knight Rises,” starring Christian Bale and Anne Hathaway, is the latest in the popular Batman action movie franchise. Friday was its international premiere.
I won’t spend time telling all you gun right nuts how stupid you really are but I will ask you this question: if your child, or loved one was in this theater and was one of the victims, maybe even one of the 14 casualties…how would you feel about gun control right now?
Wake the fuck up America.
Filed under: Causes, Crime, Gun Control, Gun Violence, News Tagged: | CNN, Colorado, Colorado Theater Shooting, Dan Oates, Dark Knight Rises, Denver, Gun control, hand gun violence, KUSA, Movie theater, Oates, Shooting Spree, Swedish Medical Center, University of Colorado Hospital