In Aurora, Colorado in the United States an unidentified man entered a screening of The Dark Knight Rises and opened fire upon the audience, killing twelve individuals and wounding thirty eight last night.
The screening, which took place in Aurora, a suburb just outside of Denver, was the midnight opening showing of the highly anticipated conclusion to The Dark Knight Trilogy and took place at the Century Theatre cinema at the Aurora Mall.
Witnesses claimed that the shooter entered the screening from one of the side exits, wearing as his attire a bulletproof vest and a riot helmet or gas mask, and covered in black. Weapons confirmed to have been used include an automatic rifle and a handgun which witnesses claim were fired at random into the crowd. The shooter was alleged to have ‘kicked open’ the door to enter the screening. Police are currently working under the assumption that there are more weapons hidden elsewhere in the theatre.
The attacker allegedly started his assault by throwing a smoke bomb into the premiere screening about 15 minutes into the movie and some of the gunshots supposedly perforated the walls, entering the adjoining screening of the same movie.
The shooter, a 24 year old white male – identified as James Holmes, according to the FBI – was found in the cinema parking lot with a rifle, a shotgun and a handgun and succumbed to arrest with no resistance. It is confirmed that he told police about explosives in his North Aurora residence and after evacuation, investigators have confirmed that explosives have been found. Police have voiced concerns about explosives in the cinema parking lot and have cordoned off the parking lot to do a thorough sweep of all the cars.
Of the twelve dead, 10 died on the scene whilst two more were pronounced dead at hospitals.Victims of the assault have been taken to Aurora Medical Centre, the local University Hospital, Swedish Hospital and Children’s Hospital, among others with all local hospitals being put on a mass casualty alert. Uninjured witnesses were taken to Gateway High School for a general debriefing.
An FBI spokesman on the scene explained that there was no evidence and no immediate suspicion of a second gunman, although all police and security forces were remaining vigilant.
President Barack Obama was informed of the spree killing by Homeland Security and Counter-terrorism adviser John O. Brennan. The President explained that he felt that the occurring events were “horrible and tragic” and vowed “We are committed to bringing whoever was responsible to justice, ensuring the safety of our people, and caring for those who have been wounded”.
Certain reports have claimed that a three month old child was present, whilst others claim the youngest child was six years old. The condition of the child is unknown. Some of the thirty eight wounded have been described as being in critical condition.