A heavily armed gunman attacked an Aurora, Colorado, movie theater early Friday, tossing tear gas before opening fire on the terrified audience and killing 12 and wounding 38, authorities said. The theater was showing the new Batman movie, “The Dark Knight Rises.”
Witness recalls chaos after gunman bursts into theater
One of the injured was just 3 months old, hospital workers said.
The shooting unfolded inside a darkened theater packed with Batman fans, some in costume for the movie’s premiere. Screaming, panicked moviegoers scrambled to escape from the black-clad gunman, who wore a gas mask and randomly shot as he walked up the theater’s steps, witnesses said.
The shooter used at least four guns — an “AK type” rifle, a shotgun and two handguns, a federal law enforcement official told CNN. The official also said the shooter used tear gas.
Police quickly 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. It was unclear where law enforcement found a second handgun.
Two federal law enforcement sources involved in the investigation identified the suspect as James Holmes, 24, of Aurora, Colorado.
The suspect was tentatively scheduled to appear in a Colorado courtroom on Monday, although no formal charges have been filed, according to the Colorado Office of the State Court Administrator.