A gunman opened fire at a midnight screening of The Dark Knight Rises in Denver last night, killing 12 people and injuring at least 50 others. Witnesses say the gunman, who was wearing a mask, began shooting about 15 minutes into the film. Police said the man was carrying a knife, a handgun, and a rifle when he was arrested and that one other gun was recovered from the theatre.
Tragically, some witnesses have said that they thought the shootings were part of the movie or a publicity stunt at first. Reports indicate that the gunman threw a smoke or tear gas bomb across the screen before opening fire, confusing audience members during a shoot-out scene in the film. At least 12 people are known to have died, with police revising an earlier report of 14 deaths.
President Barack Obama released a statement to the press, expressing shock and sadness and saying, “We are committed to bringing whoever was responsible to justice, ensuring the safety of our people, and caring for those who have been wounded.”
Police spokeman Frank Fania said that the suspect was arrested in the parking lot behind the theatre. The area was evacuated as a precaution while police searched for any explosive devices. The suspect’s apartment building was also evacuated.
This is a senseless tragedy and a far cry from the excitement surrounding the opening of this long-awaited movie. UTG’s thoughts are with the families of the dead and those who continue to fight for their lives in hospital. We will bring you more on the incident as it develops.