Fourteen people have been killed and up to 50 wounded in a the Denver suburb of Aurora after a masked gunman opened fire at a late-night screening of the new Batman film, The Dark Knight Rises.
A gunman dressed in a gas mask and military gear such in a side entrance and released a smoke or teargas bomb and opened fire during a shootout scene in the movie, leading to mass confusion.
One witness told CNN: “We heard anywhere from 10 to 20 shots and little explosions going on. Shortly after that we heard people screaming. Then they came on PA system and said everyone needed to get out. As soon as we got out, there were people running around and screaming” another described the gunman “slowly making his way up the stairs and firing, picking off random people”.
One police officer carried a girl believed to be about 9 years old with gunshot wounds to her back out of the theater, a witness said. “She wasn’t moving.”
Police arrested a man believed to be the shooter in a rear parking lot of the theater, Frank Fania, a police spokesman, told CNN. The suspect was not immediately identified, though Fania said he was believed to be in his early 20s. and told police that he had explosive materials in his apartment. The police went to his apartment building and evacuated the building immediately as a precautionary measure.
“He did not resist. He did not put up a fight,” Fania said. Police seized a rifle and a handgun from the suspect, and another gun was found in the theater, he said.
But according to one witness has come forward stating that shortly before that he witnessed a movie goer in the first row get up from his seat and move over to the Emergency Door where the shooter entered to continue his conversation. No one is sure of the man opened the door for the shooter who entered from an alley alongside the theatre.
President Barack Obama issued a statement saying he and first lady Michelle Obama were “shocked and saddened” by the shooting and pledged the administration’s support for victims of the shooting.
“As we do when confronted by moments of darkness and challenge, we must now come together as one American family,”
CNN has obtained the following cellphone footage of the lobby of the theatre after the shooting –
***WARNING NWSF and UPSETTING.