At least 14 people were killed and 50 wounded when a gunman opened fire during an early Friday morning screening of the new Batman movie at an Aurora, Colorado, theater, Police Chief Dan Oates told reporters.
The heavily armed suspect, who was wearing a bulletproof vest and a gas mask, was apprehended by police in a rear parking lot of the theater, Frank Fania, a police spokesman, told CNN. The suspect was not immediately identified, though Fania said he was believed to be in his early 20s.
Witnesses told KUSA that the gunman kicked in an emergency exit door and threw a smoke bomb into the darkened theater before opening fire.
One movie-goer, who was not identified, told KUSA the gunman was wearing a gas mask when he released a smoke bomb and then began moving through the theater, randomly shooting at people.
Raw footage captured on a cell phone just after the shooting captures the chaos.
Phone interview with theater-goer.
The gunman is rumored to be a 24-year-old white male, armed with at least three weapons, some sort of smoke or gas grenade, wearing body armor. Apparently he entered the darkened theater during the film by kicking in the door of an emergency exit and opening fire during a shooting scene in the film.
He then apparently exited through the same emergency exit, and was apprehended by police without a struggle behind the theater building.
Twitchy is filling in details as they can.
I suspect the shooter chose his target with maximum casualties as his goal, knowing the theater would be packed for the highly anticipated film.
My heart goes out to the victims, their families, and their friends.
Updates: The number of victims has been revised downward to 12 fatalities and 38 injured, or 14 fewer total casualties than earlier reported. The shooter has been identified as 24-year-old James Holmes.