Gunman opens fire in theater, kills 12

Updated
 
Gunman opens fire in theater, kills 12
Gunman opens fire in theater, kills 12
msnbc

UPDATED 9:18 AM ET ON SATURDAY: The masked man with dyed orange hair and a bulletproof vest who open fired in an Aurora, Colorado movie theater is now scheduled to make his first court appearance on Monday.

As officials continue to investigate the deadly shootings, Aurora police chief Dan Oates said families of the deceased were being notified Friday night.

The suspected killer allegedly tossed a gas canister into the air and began firing off rounds during a midnight showing of the highly-anticipated movie “The Dark Knight Rises,” killing 12 and injuring 58. He later told police he was “The Joker,” a reference to one of the biggest villains in the Batman series. 

One theatergoer thought it was part of the event. Eye-witness Jennifer Seeger, 22, watched in confusion as the man then pointed his gun at the ceiling and fired.

“That rifle was in my face,” Seeger recounted. “I didn’t know what to think. I just instinctively jumped forward and ducked inside the middle of the aisle, and tucked in a corner. After that he was shooting people behind me and I had gun-shells falling on my head, burning my forehead. All I smelt was powder. It was just really terrifying.”

Police said the suspect was arrested in the parking lot outside of the theater and put up no resistance. At the scene, officers recovered four guns, which the suspect acquired legally,  including two pistols, a shotgun and a rifle.

After surveying the suspect’s apartment, Oates described it as being booby-trapped with sophisticated explosives and flammable materials. Police could be at the scene “for hours or days,” he said.

The wounded are currently being treated at local hospitals. According to Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper, 11 are still in critical condition.

President Obama cut short a campaign visit to Florida today in respect of the tragedy. In a shortened address to an audience at Fort Myers, the President reflected, “Michelle and I will be fortunate enough to hug our girls a little tighter tonight, and I’m sure you will do the same with your children, but for those parents who may not be so lucky, we have to embrace them and let them know that we will be there for them as a nation.”

Presumptive Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney also offered condolences in the wake of the massacre. “Our hearts break with the sadness of this unspeakable tragedy. Ann and I join the president and first lady and all Americans in offering our deepest condolences for those whose lives were shattered in a few moments — a few moments of evil — in Colorado.” 

It was the deadliest mass shooting since the Foot Hood attack in 2009.

 

 

Explore:

Aurora and Colorado

Gunman opens fire in theater, kills 12

Updated