A gunman killed at least 12 people and wounded 50 others at a midnight screening of the new Batman movie in Colorado last night. The number was revised down from 14 by officers speaking to MSNBC at 7:40 am.
Witnesses said that the gunman was wearing a riot helmet, goggles and a bullet proof vest, which did not seem out of place, as many movie goers were also dressed in costumes. This allowed him to blend in with the crowd. He opened a canister of tear gas and started shooting during a scene involving a firefight, thereby confusing patrons who thought the commotion was a part of the movie.
When arrested, the suspect suggested there were explosives at his apartment, causing police to evacuate his apartment in north Aurora.
“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.”… MSNBC.COM.
The 24 year old suspect’s car has Tennessee license plates and there was some ammunition found inside. The six foot shooter had a rifle, two hand guns and a gas mask when apprehended.
“An FBI official told NBC News that the agency was working with local authorities on the investigation, but that there was no early indication of a link to terrorism. President Barack Obama had been notified by counterterrorism chief John Brennan and was aware of the incident, KUSA said.”
“Get us some damn gas masks for theater 9, we can’t get in it,” one officer radioed back to emergency dispatch during the operation, according to an excerpt aired on KUSA. Witnesses told reporters that gunfire erupted during a shootout scene in the film. Brenda Stuart, of 850 KOA radio, told Sky News that “a lot of people thought the gunshots were part of the movie.”
“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.”
“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. Natalie Goldstein, of Children’s Hospital Colorado, said the facility was treating six patients from the shooting, ranging in age from 6 to 31. ”
“Another eyewitness, whose name was not given, told KUSA that he “saw at least four, maybe five 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.
Salina Jordan, 19, who was in Theater 8, told the Denver 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.
MSNBC reports that a 3 month old is being treated for gun shot wounds.
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