Police Say 71 Shot, 12 Killed in Colo. Shooting

Friday, July 20, 2012

Seventy-one people were shot and 12 killed when a gunman wearing a gas mask opened fire on moviegoers at a sold-out midnight premiere of the new Batman movie outside of Denver, Colorado, police said.

Police say suspect James Holmes, 24, tossed gas into the theater before pumping “many, many rounds” into the packed theater – using an AR-15 assault rifle, a 12-gauge shotgun and a .40 caliber Glock.

Twelve people were killed, 10 in the theater. Many other victims from the shooting are in critical condition, police said.

Aurora Police Chief Dan Oates said he is “confident” the shooter acted alone. He declined to comment on the gunman's possible motive.

Holmes, who was dressed in all black, was arrested by police in the back parking lot of the theater near his white Hyundai.

New York City Police Commissioner Ray Kelly, who was briefed no the shooting Friday morning, said the gunman had red hair and called himself the Joker. Officials in Colorado declined to comment, and WNYC could not independently confirm.

Cops said his apartment, four miles from the scene, was booby trapped with trip wires and incendiary devices.

Holmes did not have a prior record. He had a single traffic summons in October 2011.  

Hundreds of calls began to flood 911 at 12:39 a.m. Within a minute, two dozen officers responded to the scene to find chaos unfolding.

“Shots fired in the theater,” tweeted a witness @dingos8myTARDIS. “I’m outside, one of my friends is still inside. No one knows what’s going on. … Oh, God. I don’t know what to do.”

(Photo: A man in a bloodstained shirt exits a Colo. theater where a gunman opened fire during the premiere of "Dark Knight Rises."/Courtesy of YouTube)

A witness told the Daily News that the gunman burst through the theater’s emergency door and tossed tear gas into the theater before opening fire moments after the film started.

We “heard loud noises and [saw] smoke and thought, ‘This is a joke. This is fireworks,'” moviegoer Megan Walton told the News.

Police said they are investigating how the shooter entered the theater.

A cellphone video shows the chaos inside the theater as a crush of moviegoers rushed to the exit, many of them shrieking and at least one emerging in a shirt soaked in bloodstains.

“Let’s get out of here!” one theater-goer screamed.

The FBI is helping in the investigation and says there is no indication the shooting is tied to any terrorist groups.


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Comments [18]

Clint from Amarillo, TX

They weren't automatic weapons, gun control only controls those that have the intention to follow laws, and you're right, we do love our guns, keep your finely polished, never worked a day in your life hands off of them. You would love them too if you had a patriotic bone in your body. You don't dare put your hand over your heart when they play our national anthem! Not if you take your liberties for granted like most of you seem to be doing. You're lucky you have freedom of speech, for now. Protect your second amendment, it's the only thing that maintains the freedoms we (some of us) hold dear.

Jul. 21 2012 12:40 AM
kevin from upper LS

i want to know, if this guy had any student loan debt problem . that would worry me,because i could see how easily the right wing,[and the wimp noodle faux left] would politicize that,in the worst way;which is to say,demonize good students, who've been saddled with insane[illegal and immoral], student loan debt.

Jul. 20 2012 08:20 PM
Peg from Outback upstate NY

Yes, in "Dumberica" we do love our guns AND we LOVE, LOVE, LOVE our violent media and entertainment too. Why do we only concentrate on gun law? How about responsible media and entertainment?

But... How can we possibly limit our "constitutional" rights to free speech and to carry "MODERN" firearms????? Because we all know, what all journalists know, but our founding fathers didn't... that "If it BLEEDS... It LEADS!"

BTW, wondering when I can have my own nuke and arsenal of killer drones?

Jul. 20 2012 07:29 PM

Well, hopefully all the victims have insurance! It would suck to go bankrupt because you got shot in a random murder spree!

Jul. 20 2012 07:28 PM
kevin from upper LS

isn't it funny,how disaffected white males,all seem to be descended from wolves[oh excuse me, lonely wolves.] and, isn't it even funnier,how the media seems to "know" that, before the dust has even settled.....

Jul. 20 2012 06:51 PM
JP from PK Slope

Just want to leave a message of condolences to the family of the victims and all of the other victims of gun violence that occurs in our country every day.

Jul. 20 2012 05:01 PM
Robert from Queens, NY

Holmes may have taken these Batman movies way to extreme. Perhaps he took the message of the villains way to seriously. I am sick to my stomach about what he did. It is so terrible...You are looking forward to this movie and want to catch a midnight showing of it and then this disturbing incident happens. Sounds like it came out of movie! So upsetting! Is there any place that is safe to enjoy a night out?

We do need stricter gun laws!!!

Jul. 20 2012 01:05 PM
Brenda from New York City

I can't help but feel that when we talk about gun control after such heinous acts we need also talk about mental health care/awareness in this country. The ways in which we identify dangerously ill people are so rigid and are geared towards protecting the freedom of the ill. Protecting people from themselves is a far more humane approach. The very nature of a mental illness is that someone is not in their right mind. We need to stop being so skittish about the issue and really care for the ill. It won't stop every unbalanced person from committing horrible acts but it even if it stops one person...

Jul. 20 2012 01:04 PM
Lee Gelber from Astoria,NY

Perhaps the attorney general of Colorado should issue a warrant for the arrest of Wayne LaPierre, the Executive Director of the NRA who spearheaded the campaign to not renew the automatic weapons ban - Mr. LaPierre certainly aided and abetted...

Jul. 20 2012 12:08 PM
John From NJ from NJ

How does someone carrying this much firepower get into a theater? And a gas mask and a canister of tear gas.

Jul. 20 2012 11:48 AM
HipHopSays from Brooklyn (Fort Greene/Clinton Hill)

the irony is the dark knight rises has an anti-gun message in it....O.0

Jul. 20 2012 11:43 AM

Our national policy on gun possession is insane.

We've allowed our national good to be hijacked by the gun sellers' lobbying organization (NRA) disguising itself in the Constitution but really whipping up people's fears to maximize their profits.

I don't know if this particular shooting could have been prevented, but we all know too many guns are ending up in the hands of people who never should have them.

Is reasonable gun control even a possibility?

Jul. 20 2012 11:18 AM
Linda from North Jersey

Sadly, I knew it was just a matter of time before this would happen in a movie theater (although a theater shooting occurred in Russia). Nowhere is safe. Movie theaters in New York City showing Batman this weekend will have extra police & security on hand. What's next? A ballpark or football stadium? I'm mad as hell.

Jul. 20 2012 10:50 AM
Sick of It All from United States of Dumberica

"God, I don't know what to do" (Tweeted a witness) Yeah, good idea to stand there and "tweet". What a nation of morons.

How about call 911? See if anyone exiting the theater needs help? Oh, you're too busy "tweeting" your every thought to other morons. How about TAKE COVER or RUN AWAY, you jackass!!!

Yeah, what is it about Colorado? Is it the air? The rampant development and destruction of the beautiful natural environment?

Jul. 20 2012 10:45 AM
bernie from bklyn

this says it all-

Jul. 20 2012 10:29 AM

we either allow people to have guns or not allow...don't see the sense in allowing automatic weapons though.

Jul. 20 2012 10:13 AM
Judith from Manhattan

I agree about the guns- (Guns don't kill pp, pp do- yeah, right. Like this could happen without guns!) but It's Gabby Giffords and that wasn't Colorado.
Though the news is not yet reporting this, looks like this guy (James Holmes) has quite the Tea Party affiliation.

Jul. 20 2012 09:57 AM
Colorado from nyc

Columbine, Debby Giffords, The Dark Knight; Colorado, you sure love your guns.

Jul. 20 2012 09:29 AM

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