Photo Credit: Thomas Cooper/Getty Images; Warner Bros.
Tragedy has struck in Colorado. A heavily armed gunman entered a midnight screening of The Dark Knight Rises in Aurora, outside of Denver, where he shot and killed at least 12 moviegoers and injured at least 59 others.
CNN reports that the 24-year-old gunman, who was wearing a gas mask (and possibly a costume), stood in front of the theater at around 12:30 a.m. this morning and opened fire. Ten people were killed inside the packed theater, where chaos broke out. The other two confirmed dead passed away at area hospitals where the dozens of injured victims were taken early Friday morning. Some people said they could smell pepper spray or tear gas as the bullets rang out.
"We were watching a scene of the movie -- it was a shootout scene, there were guns firing," an eyewitness told CNN affiliate KUSA. "Then loud bangs came from the right of the theater. Smoke took over the entire theater, and it was really thick and no one could really see anything. Me and my sister were sitting there wondering what was going on. Five people were limping, wounded, slightly bloody."
Police apprehended the suspect, whose name is said to be James Holmes, in a rear parking lot of the Century 16 Theater in Aurora's Town Center Mall, police spokesman Frank Fania told CNN.
"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. Later the count was upped to four: a semi-automatic rifle, a shotgun and two pistols.
President Barack Obama issued a statement saying he and Michelle Obama were "shocked and saddened" by the shooting and promised his 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," the President's statement said.
The film's cast -- including Christian Bale, Anne Hathaway, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Morgan Freeman and Marion Cotillard --- are currently in Paris promoting the movie. But according to People, Warner Bros. has responded by canceling all interviews related to the film, as well as the movie's scheduled red-carpet premiere in Paris Friday night.
The studio also issued a statement about the shocking tragedy: "Warner Bros. is deeply saddened to learn about this shocking incident. We extend our sincere sympathies to the families and loved ones of the victims at this tragic time."
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