From reports, the shooting at the Century 16 movie theater in suburban Denver began during a scene in which actor Anne Hathaway’s character, Catwoman, is in a shootout with Gotham City police in “The Dark Knight Rises,” the highly-anticipated superhero sequel that opened last night all over the nation in midnight screenings. Audience members describe the noise, all of a sudden, as being particularly loud. Even when smoke came into the theater, some even thought it was part of the show.
Twelve people were killed and at least 50 others wounded early Friday when a 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. However, a police officer later told msnbc TV that the death toll had been revised to 12. A three-month-old and a six-year-old girl were among those treated, according to reports.
NBC’s TODAY spoke to a witness:
“It was mass chaos,” witness Jennifer Seeger told TODAY. The gunman shot the ceiling and then “he threw in the gas can, and then I knew it was real.”
“Everyone’s going for the door and then everyone starts saying, ‘no, he’s going to shoot people going for the door,’ and he did,” she recalled. “They’re trying to escape, and he shot those people as well.”
The sole suspect’s name is James Holmes, a 24-year-old man with four weapons: a shotgun, an AK-style rifle, and two handguns. Reports indicate that he was also wearing a gas mask and bulletproof vest when he was arrested after the incident, without incident. The FBI stated that “no indications at this early point in the investigation of any nexus to terrorism.” (It makes one wonder how strictly they define “terrorism.”)
In the embedded KUSA video below, the scene is described in painful detail by a young man who was in the theater. I advise caution in listening. Hat tip to The Raw Story on this. (Our own Chuck Todd just announced on air that the baby he describes, per KUSA, was just released from the hospital.)