12 Killed in Colorado Theater opening night of the latest Batman movie The Dark Knight Rises
12 Killed, 59 injured in Denver Colorado suburb of Aurora. A gunman wearing a gas mask opened fire early Friday at a Colorado movie theater on the opening night of the latest Batman movie, killing at least 12 people and injuring at least 59 others, authorities said. Suspect wore body armor, used assault rifle, shotgun, Glock handgun in theater attack. Colo police chief: Booby traps at home of theater shooting suspect `something I've never seen'
Aurora police spokesman Frank Fania didn't say why the death toll was changed from an earlier report that 14 were killed. Federal law-enforcement officials said the suspect in the shooting was James Holmes, a 24-year-old American who was in police custody.
Federal Bureau of Investigation spokesman Jason Pack said there was no indication of a terrorism connection, while President Barack Obama said he was "shocked and saddened" by the "horrific and tragic" shooting.
It was the worst mass shooting in the U.S. since 33 people were killed in 2007 at Virginia Tech and the worst in Colorado since the Columbine High School massacre on April 20, 1999. At Columbine. students Eric Harris, 18, and Dylan Klebold, 17, opened fire at the school in the Denver suburb of Littleton, about 15 miles west of Aurora, killing 12 classmates and a teacher and wounding 26 others before killing themselves in the school's library.
The gunman Friday stood at the front of the theater and fired into the crowd. He was later taken into custody near a car behind the theater.
"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.
Aurora police spokesman Frank Fania said the suspect was a man in his early 20s. He told ABC's "Good Morning America" investigators don't believe anyone else was involved.
Emergency crews swarmed the scene after calls started flooding the switchboard, officials said. Some of the injured were children, with the youngest a 3-month-old baby.
Officers ran in and told people to leave the theater, Salina Jordan told the Denver Post newspaper. She said some police were carrying and dragging bodies.
"A gas mask, rifle, handgun at least one additional weapon [were] found," Mr. Oates said.
The suspect ...
This is a picture of James Holmes, suspected gunman in Aurora theater
This video was uploaded from an Android phone.
The California family of the suspect in a mass shooting at a Colorado movie theater says their hearts go out to those involved.
Police in San Diego read a statement Friday morning from family members of 24-year-old James Holmes, who graduated from high school in the San Diego area.
The family asked the media to respect their privacy. They say they’re cooperating with authorities in San Diego and Aurora, Colo., and are trying to process everything.
San Diego police spokeswoman Andra Brown says there’s nothing to suggest the family had any involvement.
A spokeswoman for the University of Colorado School of Medicine in Denver says Holmes was a student there until last month but didn’t know why he withdrew. A spokeswoman for the University of Colorado Hospital confirmed Friday that James Holmes was a Ph.D. student in neuroscience at its partner school, the University of Colorado, Denver. Holmes had begun attending the neuroscience program in June 2011, but had decided to leave in June of this year, said the spokeswoman, Jacque Montgomery. “He was in the process of withdrawing from the university,” Ms. Montgomery said, declining to elaborate.
Those who knew the 24-year-old describe him as a shy, intelligent person raised in California by parents who were active in their well-to-do suburban neighborhood. Holmes, who was studying neuroscience in a Ph.D. program in Colorado, grew up in San Diego, where his parents still live on a quiet, street of two-story homes with red tile roofs. He played soccer at Westview High School and ran cross country before going to college. Neighbors say the family belonged to a Presbyterian church and hosted a Christmas party for residents. Many families choose the San Diego neighborhood because it is part of the well-regarded Poway Unified School District, one of the best in California.
Final Tweets from a Shooting Victim
By Liz Heron
Aspiring sportscaster Jessica Ghawi (who went by Jessica Redfield on Twitter)
was one of the victims of the shooting in Aurora, Colo., according to The Denver
Post and local CBS affiliate, KENS5. (The Journal is working to independently
confirm her death.) Ghawi was also a witness to another shooting in June, at
Eaton Centre in Toronto, and blogged about it at the time. Her last interaction
on Twitter before attending the theater Thursday night are posted below, as well
as tributes from her brother and friends shared on social media.
Jessica Ghawi's last blog post was about escaping another shooting in Toronto.