12 Dead in Horrific Colorado Movie Theater Killings

At least 12 people were killed early this morning in Aurora, Colorado when an armed man wearing a gas mask opened fire in a movie theater showing the latest Batman movie. 50 people were also reportedly wounded in the massacre, and the suspect is in police custody.

The New York Timeshas more details:

The shooting erupted during midnight showings of “The Dark Knight Rises” at the multiplex in Aurora, Colo., where throngs had gathered, some dressed as characters from the highly anticipated Batman sequel.

A federal law enforcement official said that a suspect in the shootings, a man born in 1987, was in custody. The police and federal agents were searching an apartment in the town after the man said he had explosives there. Other residents in the building were evacuated as a precaution.

“We’re treating this as an active shooter investigation working with Aurora police,” according to a statement released by the Federal Bureau of Investigation. “No indications at this early point in the investigation of any nexus to terrorism.”

Chaos spread quickly through the multiple packed theaters as the gunman, wearing a gas mask, stood in the front of one theater at around 12:30 a.m. and began firing at the crowd, The Associated Press reported. Witnesses described smelling either pepper spray or tear gas in the theater as the gunfire rang out.

President Obama, who spent the night in southern Florida as part of a campaign swing, was notified of the shooting by his top counterterrorism adviser, John O. Brennan, at 5:26 a.m., according to the White House. He later released a statement saying that he and the first lady were “shocked and saddened by the horrific and tragic shooting in Colorado,” and vowed to bring those responsible to justice.

The New York TimesLede blog has more on the shootings, including a cellphone video of the shootings and a live stream of a local news station in Colorado.

AlterNet / By Alex Kane

Posted at July 20, 2012, 2:42am

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