DARK KNIGHT RISES Shooting Leaves 12 Dead, 50 Wounded
At a midnight screening of The Dark Knight Rises in Aurora, Colorado, a masked gunman entered the theater, threw one or two canisters of gas, and then opened fire, killing at least 12 people and wounding around 50 others.
The gunman, identified as James Holmes, 24, was apprehended in a parking lot behind the theater by police. He entered the theater via an emergency exit, wearing a mask and what appeared to be body armor. He had a rifle, a shotgun, and a handgun. He began shooting, moving his way from the front of the theater to the back, firing at people in their seats and also those who tried to flee.
Several of the wounded were reported to be critically injured. Holmes told police he had explosives in his nearby apartment. The apartment complex was evacuated this morning and authorities conducted a search. Aurora is a suburb of Denver, not far from Colombine, scene of the 1999 high school massacre.
Warner Bros. has cancelled the red-carpet premiere planned for Paris tonight, as well as media interviews scheduled with Christopher Nolan and members of the cast.
UPDATED 7/20 07:59 EST: Director Christopher Nolan has released a statement:
"Speaking on behalf of the cast and crew of The Dark Knight Rises, I would like to express our profound sorrow at the senseless tragedy that has befallen the entire Aurora community. I would not presume to know anything about the victims of the shooting but that they were there last night to watch a movie. I believe movies are one of the great American art forms and the shared experience of watching a story unfold on screen is an important and joyful pastime. The movie theatre is my home, and the idea that someone would violate that innocent and hopeful place in such an unbearably savage way is devastating to me. Nothing any of us can say could ever adequately express our feelings for the innocent victims of this appalling crime, but our thoughts are with them and their families."