In news that many are waking up to this morning, last night’s midnight premieres of The Dark Knight Rises were met with a horrible event. In Aurora, Colorado at least 12 were declared dead out of 71 wounded when a shooter emerged into a local theater resulting in violence.
In an official statement, The Aurora Police Department has said “The Police Department can confirm that 12 persons are deceased, with the bodies of 10 victims still at the crime scene inside the theater. At least two more victims died at area hospitals. The Police Department previously released a preliminary number of 14 dead, but only 12 can be confirmed at this time. Approximately 50 total persons were shot, including the deceased.
Victims were transported to at least six area hospitals. Many were rushed immediately to hospitals in police cars by responding officers. The injured and dead include a wide age range. The conditions of the injured also vary, with some suffering very serious wounds.”
The FBI is currenly assisting Aurora in this investigation of what has lead to the arrest of 24 year old suspect James Holmes, who was said to have kicked open the emergency door to one of the theaters and threw tear gas into the building. Wearing a gas mask, bulletproof vest, and carrying multiple weapons, shots were fired around 12:30 AM according to various reports. Police had shown up on the scene shortly afterwards. Holmes was arrested in possession of ”one rifle, one handgun and a gas mask” with a third gun inside the theater.
One witness told CBS, ”We were maybe 20 or 30 minutes into the movie and all you hear, first you smell smoke, everybody thought it was fireworks or something like that, and then you just see people dropping and the gunshots are constant. I heard at least 20 to 30 rounds within that minute or two.”
Another stated, “I was with my younger sister and a friend, Mike, and Sheala. We decided there’s something not right going on. And we got up and as soon as we walked out the door, we saw several police officers with just different guns, like shotguns. I don’t even know, I’ve never seen cops holding guns like that.”
Warner Brothers has decided to cancel the Paris Red Carpet Premiere of The Dark Knight Rises due to the shooting, while releasing a statement saying “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.”
President Obama released a statment as well saying, ”Michelle and I are shocked and saddened by the horrific and tragic shooting in Colorado. Federal and local law enforcement are still responding, and my Administration will do everything that we can to support the people of Aurora in this extraordinarily difficult time. We are committed to bringing whoever was responsible to justice, ensuring the safety of our people, and caring for those who have been wounded. As we do when confronted by moments of darkness and challenge, we must now come together as one American family. All of us must have the people of Aurora in our thoughts and prayers as they confront the loss of family, friends, and neighbors, and we must stand together with them in the challenging hours and days to come.”
An official press conference by the Aurora Police Department was held just a little bit ag to update us on the situation, and they have revealed that out of 71 confirmed to be shot by Holmes 12 have been declared dead. 10 were deceased in the theater while 2 died from their wounds at hospitals.
As of right now, the police have another large issue on their hand with Holmes’ apartment. They have revealed that his residence is actually booby trapped with various devices that could off and they have taken precautionary measures to ensure the safety of those surrounding the area. Aurora Police have evacuated the building and five surrounding buildings while also expanding their police perimeter in order to ensure the safety of other civilians.
Another conference to discuss developments will be held at Aurora City Hall tonight at 7:00PM MST (9:00 PM EST).
Our hearts, thoughts, and prayers go out to the victims, friends, family, and anyone else affected by this horrible tragedy.