Gunman kills 12 and injures dozens at ''Dark Knight Rises'' screening in Colorado theater.
A suspect is in custody after opening fire at a midnight screening of the Batman film 'The Dark Knight Rises' in Aurora, Colorado, east of Denver. More than Fifty people are wounded. Witnesses say the gunman released a noxious gas before opening fire, making escape more difficult.
A gunman wearing a gas mask opened fire early Friday at a Colorado movie theater on the opening night of the latest Batman movie, killing at least 12 people and injuring dozens, authorities said.
Federal law enforcement officials say the suspect is James Holmes, a 24-year-old white American.
According to police sources, Holmes told the officers arresting him that he was "The Joker," referring to the villain in the second Batman movie "The Dark Knight." He also warned police that he had booby-trapped his apartment.
Holmes was apprehended within minutes of the 12:39 a.m. shooting at his car behind the theater, where police found him in full riot gear and carrying three weapons, including an AR-15 assault rifle, which can hold upwards of 100 rounds, a Remington 12-gauge shotgun, and a .40 Glock handgun. A fourth handgun was found in the vehicle.
Eyewitnesses said the gunman entered the movie theater through the emergency exit door near the front of the screen in theater No. 9 at the Century 16 in Aurora. A witness, who declined to be identified, told The Times that the gunman then "threw a canister across the theater," unleashing gas, "then started shooting."
All four of weapons were purchased in the last 60 days at local gun shops. He said 6,000 rounds of ammunition were purchased through the Internet, including one 100-round drum magazine, which allowed the suspect to fire up to 50-60 rounds in a minute.
Jennifer Seeger said, "There were bullet (casings) just falling on my head. They were burning my forehead,", adding that the gunman, dressed like a SWAT team member, fired steadily except when he stopped to reload.
She said, "Every few seconds, it was just boom, boom, boom,". "He would reload and shoot, and anyone who would try to leave would just get killed."
"It almost seemed like fun to him," she told CNN.
Among many other statements of sympathy and prayerful wishes was this one from Holmes’s family in San Diego:
"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.”
James holmes is scheduled to appear in the court on monday.