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Colorado Theater Shooting: More Details Emerge

July 20, 2012  | 

As the day progresses, more information is surfacing about the shooting that happened at a midnight premiere screening of "The Dark Knight Rises" in an Aurora, Colo., movie theater. But many questions remain unanswered.

Friends and family of victims have been given a hotline to call for information those who are still missing and those who have been placed on the victims list. But some people are having trouble getting through, and others are standing in a designated area outside of the movie theater still waiting to find out the fate of their loved ones, reports the Denver Post

The U.S. Department of Defense says two airmen and one sailor were wounded in the movie theater shooting in Colorado and one sailor is unaccounted for, according to the Associated Press.

The most recent tally of 71 victims, 12 people killed and 59 injured, makes this the largest mass shooting in U.S. history. The shooter entered via an emergency exit, threw down some sort of device that emitted smoke, and began shooting at theater goers as he roamed the aisles and even left the building to shoot at those trying to escape. 

It's been reported that when the suspect, 24-year-old graduate student James Holmes, was apprehended in possession of multiple firearms wearing a ballistic vest and leg guards and a riot helmet, that he referred to himself as the Batman villain the Joker, but the Aurora police chief has not confirmed this.

Aurora PD Police Chief Dan Oates did say today that in response to the suspect’s statement that his apartment was booby trapped, police and bomb squads have searched it with robots and found a large number of explosive devices and trip wires and have not yet decided how to proceed without setting off explosions.

New York City has increased security outside of all theaters showing "The Dark Knight Rises" and AMC Theaters is reviewing its security procedures after the shooting, the Associated Press reports.

The National Association of Theatre Owners said in a statement, "Guest safety is, and will continue to be a priority for theater owners. NATO members are working closely with local law enforcement agencies and reviewing security procedures."

Many things are still unknown, including the motivation for the shooting, the ultimate number of victims, and what the impact will be on the public.

By Melanie Basich


Colorado Batman Movie Shooting Suspect Was Ph.D. Student

Police: Colorado Theater Shooting Suspect's Apartment 'Booby Trapped'

Aurora PD Issues Press Release on Theater Shooting

Comments (23)

Displaying 1 - 23 of 23

Capt David LACO Retired @ 7/20/2012 3:08 PM

One person in the crowd legally carrying and with the ability to use his weapon may have changed this drastically. Prayers with victime and their families.

Chief Doc @ 7/20/2012 3:21 PM

This very sad event underscores the benefit and the need for concealed carry laws. As previously stated, one person may have changed the outcome dramatically. Here in Illinois, such an event would have no chance of that. Whether off-duty, or citizens with permits are the only hope when a crazy blows like this guy. Condolances to the families of all touched by this mad man.

Mary F @ 7/20/2012 3:23 PM

Capt. David - I am SO in agreement with you. I am tempted to learn how to shoot and then leagally buy my own weapon. If someone had had a weapon to take this calm but crazed man down. I am sad to say that, due to the protective gear he was wearing, the only way would have been a single shot to the head to save as many innocent lives as possible.

Craig @ 7/20/2012 3:24 PM

Prayers to those involved in this act of malicious intent.

Robert @ 7/20/2012 3:29 PM

Capt. David- Exactly right, I feel the same way. People often wonder and ask why I carry a concealed weapon, or they cant understand or fail to realize that people like this man are in the world and they can do things like this. May God be with the families and victims of this tragic event.

trays @ 7/20/2012 3:31 PM

Echoing whats already been said. May god bless the victims as well as the survivors..

Tom Ret @ 7/20/2012 4:50 PM

Strict gun laws will not deter this type of individual who is hell bent on committing indiscriminate murder. I agree with previous comments that only an armed citizen or armed off duty cop could have possibly ( even though it probably would have been a remote chance since the suspect was wearing body armor ) ended the threat early and reduced the number of killed and wounded.

This shooter would not have been deterred by gun laws anymore than he was by laws against possession or manufacture of explosives or setting booby traps.

The death penalty is the only thing that will keep him from killing again and sounds like he qualifies with room to spare.

Morning Eagle @ 7/20/2012 4:56 PM

More echoes to previous comments. Had there been just one person in there that could return fire, even if they couldn't make a head shot but it hit him on his body armor he would have instantly realized he was being shot at and would have possibly, probably, fled. He must have intended to survive or he wouldn't have bothered to wear armor. Anyone that has been hit on their body armor can testify that it will immediately get your attention even though it didn't kill you. This will unfortunately give those opposing firearms ownership more grist for their mill and with the willing help of the media will be really “making hay" over it. This is so senseless and so very sad for all the families involved. Why was he arrested instead of killed? Just wondering as I guess we don’t yet know all the circumstances.

Frank @ 7/20/2012 5:19 PM

Another senseless shooting. Lifes lost and altered forever. I recall these types of senseless shootings all the way back to the Texas Tower incident back in the 60's. Fast forward and nothing has changed. One Federal law would correct or deter some. Anyone using a weapon in the act of killing another human being should see the chair or chamber. Personally, Firing Squad would be my preference. Here comes another two weeks of news coverage of why we should not have weapons in this country. NY Mayor Bloomberg has already started his rant! My phone will be ringing off the hook fron the NRA too.

TimFromLA @ 7/20/2012 5:24 PM

Funny thing, Los Angeles is the crime capital of the nation, but never in my 46 years of my living in Los Angeles, the gun-control nation of the world, has there been a shooting like this. Pray to God? I have a feeling the people who were in the theater and are CCW who DEMAND their rights to carry, but who did not defend themselves or other, well their god did a swell job protecting them

FireCop @ 7/20/2012 6:12 PM

First, my sincere condolences to the victims, survivors, families & friends. Also, blessings to the Police, Fire & EMS responders. I am sure the psychological toll of such an incident will befall them. It looks like they did an exemplery job of evacuating, treating, consoling and seeing to the well being of the people involved.

This incident brings to light some important aspects of Police work. Please consider carrying your weapon off duty. I think we need more guns embedded on the "good guys" in public gathering places. Even if only 1 life is spared by a calculated, well placed shot. Also, please try to convince your departments to cross train your Police Officers in advanced 1st Aid procedures. I am a firm believer that patrol cars should be equipped with small, easy to carry trauma kits. They should be on your person when you have to enter an active shooter situation such as this. The kits should include a small CPR kit, Israeli Bandages, Chest Seals and Hemostatic Agents, medical gloves and a tourniquet device. Even a rudimentary attempt to control bleeding before the scene is "secure" can save a life! care under fire should be taught to all law enforcement personnel!

Rick @ 7/20/2012 6:27 PM

TIM FROM LA - your moronic thoughts and feeling have long plagued this forum. Your thoughts don't match up with reality and cold hard facts. CCW laws protect all citizens because the bad guys don't know who's carrying; study after study confirms this. Where gun laws are strict, crime is higher, especially violent crime. The fact is that swimming pools and car wrecks kill more children in the US than firearms, yet no one is trying to ban pools and cars are already heavily restricted with licensing, smog control, licensing and no one is demanding that cars be outlawed. Crime went out of control in England, Austrailia and Canada when they banned firearms; now Canada admits that it did nothing to stop crime and they are trying to undo their restrictive laws.

Dwayna Juedes @ 7/20/2012 6:50 PM

First of all my prayer's and sympathy goes out to all who had friends family and loved ones involved in the shooting in Colorado. I whole hartedly agree with the rest of the comments, we need more guns in the hands of law abiding citizens. The government will never disarm the criminal's. If you are a business owner please get rid of the no gun signs on your businesses, they attract criminal's and make you less safe. If you are a concealed carry holder, practice on those head shots you never know when you might need it. Stay Safe Dwayne Juedes

Charlie @ 7/20/2012 6:55 PM

My heart goes out to all involved with this tragic event. This as well as other events like this should be a reminder to always carry something to protect you. With the way he was dressed, physical force would have been the only way to take him down and disarm. Way to many question about this yet to be discovered. How did he get in an exit door that should have been locked, where and how did he get his hands on and knowledge the explosive/chemicals to set up his apt that the bomb squad doesn't know how to handle ?, The bomb part almost sounds like he just placed wires around things to make it seem real, just to many questions yet. I will say one thing, events like this should show our elected officials that it is way past time to keep denying honest people their right to defend their self. This was a very well planed attack and he was ready for anything that came his way. Who knows why there and not some other place? Bless all and keep your guard up.

[email protected] @ 7/20/2012 8:36 PM

timfromla: Once again your barfing is off base. Since when is L.A. a "nation"? And your gangbanging pukes kill more people in a month then most cities see in a year. How do you know no one in that theater returned fire? The scene hasen't been cleared yet so you must be a seer. Or just an asswipe. My condolances to the victims families and the responders who have to live with the images. Be safe.

Larry @ 7/21/2012 1:03 PM

My prayers and condolences to the victims and the fine folks of the Aurora PD and the first responders that are dealing with the aftermath. Even the worst gang activity does not approach the number of casualtities seen here. Only the military trains for these kinds of ops. I expect that there were a number of CCW permit holders in the audience. But Colorado law allows any private business to prohibit firearms on its premises. A small sign on the door of all the AMC theatres here tells you no guns allowed. The law abiding citizens take heed and leave their guns at home. It's only a misdemeanor trespass ticket (and only if you refuse to leave when asked) but honest folks are honest folks. I quit going to movies years ago because of this. I can wait for the DVD, but I'm not an energetic 21 year old looking for something to do with his buddies or girlfriend. Think about this. You are alone in the crowd, its dark, your armor and your duty Glock are at home. You have your little Kel-Tec 380 and a small Sure-Fire. The threat has a rifle, armor, a helmet and gas canisters. Are you starting to feel like a BG up against SWAT? Never give up, but understand the odds. Changing the law will help, but don't over-estimate the effectiveness. Be Safe.

Dwayne Juedes @ 7/21/2012 5:53 PM

If there is someone out there that knows if the theatre in Aurora Colorado has the evil oval (No guns allowed sign) on their door's would you please drop me an e mail and let me know? Thanks

[email protected]

Bob @ 7/22/2012 12:04 PM

Prayers to all concerned. This is another hard lesson that evil is ever-present. Agree with others, just one good-guy armed civilian or off-duty officer present could have change the course of events dramatically. Shooting a 9 mm or better to slide lock on the first magazine, even if all hits are to the body armor, will likely disable an attacker from the pain unless they are drugged up. As has been observed, after he got back up (if he could), he'd book for the door. These active killers are all historically cowards to their core and surrender at the first encounter of armed opposition.

The theater is a Cinemark, which are usually posted at the ticket window against firearms on the premises. I don't know about that specific one. Perhaps the perp missed the sign. Surely he would have left if he's seen a gun-free zone sign.

maleman39 @ 7/22/2012 2:18 PM

That so many innocent victims were killed and wounded is whose fault? The crazy perp? The theater for having a "no-guns" policy, thus making every theater-goer a potential defenseless victim? Some things seem clear:
--The perp probably knew he didn't have to worry about armed victims.
--People have a God-given Right to defend themselves.
--Out of 350 million citizens, someone is bound to be a kook.
--You cannot disarm all the people because someone might be a kook with a gun. This only opens the door to increased violence and defenseless victims everywhere.
--Limiting the capacity of a gun's magazine does not solve a thing.
--Then, by the same reasoning, we should put 35 mph governors on all cars and trucks to stop highway accidents.

[email protected] @ 7/22/2012 11:33 PM

Capt. David: your correct sir. But having a weapon and being commited to using it are two different things. If your not prepared to live with the burden of taking another life, no matter what the circumstances, then don't carry one.

Jim Underwood @ 7/23/2012 1:27 AM

It's going to be interesting to see what prescription medications the suspect was on? It doesn't matter how many checks they do or any of that, anyone in this country can get any gun they want if they have the money. I really hope they don't blame batman for this like when they blaimed Marilyn Manson for Columbine.

LA visitor @ 7/23/2012 4:27 AM

Hey TimFromLaLaLand. You probably live up in the hills safe and sound behind your fence. Do you hear the sirens of police and ambulances that respond throughout the rest of the city. Gunfire three or four times daily. You probably want this killer to go to rehab. This murderer deserves worst punishment than the death penalty.

Thor @ 7/23/2012 3:47 PM

That Cinemark (and most others) ban legal CCW
Even if only one CCW had a .45 the shooter would not be standing and shooting if shot 8 times even with his ballistic armor. He would be knocked down and when rushed could either be physically held down or another round put through his gas mask. Done deal

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