Gunman James Holmes kills 12, wounds 53 at Dark Knight Screening

Senior Editor
07.20.12 43 Comments

Jesus, this is what I get for sleeping in on my Friday. A gunman, since identified as 24-year-old  James Holmes (full name James Eagan Holmes, according to the Chicago Trib), opened fire at a screening of The Dark Knight Rises in Aurora, Colorado.

Police say the suspect “appeared” at the front of one of the theaters showing “The Dark Knight Rises.” Witnesses told The Post he entered through an emergency exit at the right front of the Theater 9 less than 10 minutes into the film.

The suspect then threw some type of explosive and started shooting into the packed theater. The man had a rifle, a handgun and a gas mask when police arrested him.

Corbin Dates and Jennifer Seeger were sitting in the second row of the theater.

During the opening credits, Dates saw someone in the front row answer a phone call and walk to the emergency door in the front of the theater, he said.

Less than an hour later a man, dressed in black and wearing a gas mask and what looked like body armor, marched into the theater through the same emergency exit. He lobbed two canisters and almost instantly the theater filled with smoke.

Dates and Seeger, like everyone else in the theater, thought the man and the smoke were all part of the show, they said. Right as their eyes began to tear up from the smoke, the man fired a shot at the ceiling.

The gunman moved through the crowd and stopped in front of Seeger. He pointed a long rifle at her face and said nothing. He shot at the person sitting behind her, Seeger said. “I have no idea why he didn’t shoot me,” Seeger said. -[Denver Post]

Police arrested a man believed to be the shooter in a rear parking lot of the theater, Frank Fania, a police spokesman, told CNN.

“He did not resist. He did not put up a fight,” Fania said. Police seized a rifle and a handgun from the suspect, and another gun was found in the theater, he said.

Two federal law enforcement sources involved in the investigation identified the suspect as James Holmes, 24, of Aurora, Colorado.

The shooter used at least four guns — an “AK type” rifle, a shotgun and two handguns, a federal law enforcement official told CNN. The source also said the shooter used tear gas. [CNN]

The apartment of the man suspected in the mass shooting at a Denver-area screening of the latest Batman movie is “booby-trapped” with an array of sophisticated material, the local police chief said Friday.

Speaking at the scene where police were working to gain access to the apartment, Aurora Police Chief Daniel Oates said: “His apartment is booby-trapped. We are trying to determine how to disarm the flammable or explosive material. We could be here for hours or days. The pictures are fairly disturbing. It looks very sophisticated, how it’s booby-trapped. It could be a very long wait.” [ChicagoTribune]

Holmes was reportedly a PhD candidate in neuroscience at the University of Colorado, and was originally from San Diego.

Aurora is about 18 miles from Littleton, where the Columbine shooting killed 13 people in 1999, which I’m sure won’t be mentioned on CNN at all in the next few days.

Meanwhile, a trailer for Gangster Squad that featured a shooting inside a movie theater had apparently been playing in front of Dark Knight Rises screenings, until Nikki Finke called to complain:

This morning I called on Warner Bros to take this trailer down immediately. The studio’s response to me? “There’s a meeting about this and then a decision will be reached.” I just received the call that the trailer is being pulled. But only after I complained. And yet movie moguls wonder why so much of the country hates Hollywood values where money trumps everything, even during the Aurora theater shooting tragedy. [Deadline]

Those insensitive bastards. What will they do next? Worry about how the shooting will affect their box office like Nikki Finke wrote an article about? What a hero. Why, if we just listened to Nikki Finke more often, this probably would’ve never happened in the first place.

The part where they’re shooting at the theater starts at 2:03.

[Banner pic via Indiana Express]

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