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Tragedy Strikes Suburban Denver Movie Theater

KSCB News - July 20, 2012 6:45 am

By THOMAS PEIPERT

Associated Press Writer

AURORA, Colo. (AP) – A gunman opened fire early Friday at a

suburban Denver movie theater on the opening night of the latest

Batman movie "The Dark Knight Rises," killing 14 people and

injuring at least 50 others, authorities said.

The gunman, who is in custody, stood at the front of the theater

and fired into the crowd about 12:30 a.m. MDT at a theater at a

multiplex theater in a mall in Aurora.

"Witnesses tell us he released some sort of canister. They

heard a hissing sound and some gas emerged and the gunman opened

fire," Aurora Police Chief Dan Oates said at a news conference.

Police, ambulances and emergency crews swarmed on the scene

after frantic calls started flooding the 911 switchboard, officials

said.

Officers found the gunman near a car behind the theater.

"A gas mask, rifle, handgun at least one additional weapon

(were) found inside," he said.

The suspect was taken into custody, but no name was released.

Oates said there’s no evidence of any other attackers. There was

also no immediate word of any motive.

The suspect spoke of "possible explosives in his residence. We

are dealing with that potential threat," Oates said, without

providing details on where that was.

He said police also checked for explosives in the parking lot

and at the Century 16 theater and secured those areas.

Witness Hayden Miller told KUSA-TV that he was inside Theater 16

and heard several shots.

"Like little explosions going on and shortly after that we

heard people screaming," he told the station.

Hayden said at first he thought it was part of a louder movie

next door. But then he saw "people hunched over leaving theater."

The police chief said 10 victims died at the theater and four at

area hospitals.

Two people in critical condition were rushed to nearby Swedish

Medical Center, spokeswoman Nicole Williams said.

She said emergency crews told her staff to prepare for several

more patients from the shooting scene.

The youngest victim reported was a 6-year-old being treated at

Children’s Hospital Colorado, where a total of six victims were

taken. Their condition wasn’t known.

Their condition wasn’t known.Aurora is located on the southeast

outskirts of Denver, about 10 miles from downtown.

MANALAPAN, Fla. (AP) – President Barack Obama says he is

"shocked and saddened" by a deadly shooting at a suburban Denver

movie theater. He is urging the nation to "come together as one

American family."

Obama says he and first lady Michelle Obama were shocked by the

"horrific and tragic" shooting. Obama says his administration

will do everything they can to support the people of Aurora, Colo.

A gunman opened fire early Friday at a theater on the opening

night of the latest Batman movie, "The Dark Knight Rises."

Authorities say 14 people were killed and at least 50 others were

injured.

Obama was in Florida at the time of the shooting. The White

House says Obama was informed of the shooting by his Homeland

Security Advisor, John Brennan, at 5:26 a.m. EDT.

 

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