Updated: Witnesses Describe Scene of Bloody Chaos at 'Dark Knight' Rampage
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UPDATE (1:16 p.m.): The death toll from the shooting has been revised upwards to 13.
UPDATE (2:45 p.m.): In an afternoon press conference alongside representatives from the FBI and the office of the District Attorney, Aurora Chief of Police Dan Oates reported that 71 people were shot in the theater rather than the 50 that were earlier reported. 12 are deceased. Two died in local hospitals while ten bodies remain at the scene. Many patients remain in critical condition.
Pranks and rumors have abounded throughout social media in the wake of the event, including false reports that the suspect, James Eagen Holmes, was dressed as Batman villain The Joker.
“Please, as responsible journalists,” Oates urged, “Be very careful” about rumors and other unsubstantiated reports.
With more than 200 officers on the scene, Aurora police have interviewed more than 200 witnesses, although the process is ongoing. All four screenings of “The Dark Knight Rises” were full to capacity Thursday night.
Jim Yacone of the FBI reported that there 100 agents on the scene with 25 agents of the Department of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms. While the FBI does not believe that there is a link to terrorism, “We are trying to run leads that extend beyond Colorado at this point.”
Oates went on to say that police are still trying to enter Holmes’s apartment, which is “booby-trapped with various chemical and incendiary devices.” A police robot is currently on the scene.
Officials declined to speculate on a motive for the crime.
UPDATE (3:45 p.m.): CBS News reports that all four weapons Holmes had in his possession were purchased legally. Police sources have said that Holmes also legally purchased his ticket to “The Dark Knight Rises” and now suspect that he left the theater to retrieve his weapons and possibly his full-body tactical armor. Local news reports that the remaining bodies in the theaters will be removed shortly.
THIS STORY WAS UPDATED ABOVE AS MORE INFORMATION BECAME AVAILABLE. VIDEOS OF WITNESSES BEGIN BELOW.
Watch video about this story, embedded via KUSA, below:
UPDATE: Witnesses speak to local and national media, sharing first-hand accounts of what happened.
“It was mass chaos,” witness Jennifer Seeger told TODAY. ”He was five feet away from me.”
“Everyone’s going for the door and then everyone starts saying, ‘no, he’s going to shoot people going for the door, and he did,” she recalled. “They’re trying to escape, and he shot those people as well.”
“Someone kicked in the emergency exit and started throwing gas grenades and started shooting people at random.”
Police announce the shooting in hurried press conference.
Witness Salina Jordan: “I just saw blood everywhere. On another person, a little girl, she had [a bullet hole], it looked like it was going through her stomach, and then the blood coming down her legs.”
UPDATE (10:36 a.m.): Witness Jennifer Seger was in the same row of theater seats as the shooter. She described the harrowing experience to Denver’s Fox 31 TV:
UPDATE (11:50 a.m.): Witness Ben Fernandez described a grisly scene inside Theater 9:
UPDATE (1:24 p.m.): Seventeen-year-old Tyler Koon was in Theater 9 when the gunman opened fire. He told CBS News of his ordeal in the video below: