Gunman Opens Fire At Colorado Movie Theater

By
Associated Press

Dateline
Updated Fri, Jul 20, 2012 1:51 pm
Photo Credit: 
AP photo/ Ed Andrieski

UPDATE 1:50 p.m. A man who lives next door to the California family of a man suspected of shooting dozens of people at a Colorado movie theater says he was a loner.

Tom Mai is a retired electrical engineer who is neighbors with the family of 24-year-old James Holmes on a quiet, well-to-do San Diego street of two story homes with red tile roofs.
 
Mai says he said hello to Holmes once in a while but seemed to be shy.
 
Mai says the family lived there about 10 years. The mother is a nurse and the father is a manager at a software company. The suspect has a younger sister.
 
Mai says the mother told him Holmes couldn't find a job after earning a master's degree from a public university in California.
 

UPDATE 10:21 a.m. Federal law enforcement officials say the suspect in Friday's deadly shooting in Colorado is James Holmes, a 24-year-old white American.

Officials believe Holmes killed a dozen people when he fired into a crowded movie theater in a Denver suburb. He was wearing a gas mask and set off an unknown gas in the theater.
 
The Defense Department says Holmes never served in the Army.
 
Holmes is in police custody, and the FBI says there is no indication the incident is tied to any terrorist groups.
 
The federal law enforcement officials spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss an ongoing investigation.

UPDATE 9:10 a.m. At least 12 people were killed and 50 were being treated at Denver area hospitals after a shooting at a midnight showing of Batman, the youngest a 3-month-old baby.

Twelve people were taken to the Medical Center of Aurora with gunshot wounds and ranged from minor to critical condition. Three were treated for chemical exposure, most likely from tear gas. They ranged in age from 16 to 31.
 
Denver Health had seven victims - one in critical and the rest in fair condition.
 
The University of Colorado hospital was treating 21 people, including the baby, for gunshot wounds. The oldest is 45.
 
A 6-year-old was being treated at Children's Hospital Colorado, where a total of six victims ranging were taken. The oldest patient there is 31. Their condition wasn't known.

A gunman wearing a gas mask opened fire early Friday at a suburban Denver theater at the opening of the Batman movie "The Dark Knight Rises," killing 14 people and injuring at least 50 others, authorities said.

The gunman, who is in custody, stood at the front of the theater and fired into the crowd about 12:30 a.m. MDT at a multiplex theater in a mall in Aurora.
 
"Witnesses tell us he released some sort of canister. They heard a hissing sound and some gas emerged and the gunman opened fire," Aurora Police Chief Dan Oates said at a news conference.
 
FBI spokesman Jason Pack said there's no indication in the investigation so far of any connection to terrorism.
 
Aurora police spokesman Frank Fania on ABC's "Good Morning America" said he didn't know yet if all the injuries were gunshot wounds. He said some might have been caused by other things such as shrapnel.
 
Police, ambulances and emergency crews swarmed on the scene after frantic calls started flooding the 911 switchboard, officials said.
 
Officers came running in and telling people to leave the theater, Salina Jordan told the Denver Post. She said some police were carrying and dragging bodies.
 
Officers later found the gunman near a car behind the theater.
 
"A gas mask, rifle, handgun at least one additional weapon (were) found inside," he said.
 
The suspect was taken into custody, but no name was released. Oates said there's no evidence of any other attackers. There was also no immediate word of any motive.
 
The suspect spoke of "possible explosives in his residence. We are dealing with that potential threat," Oates said
 
Police were at the Denver-area apartment and had evacuated other residents of the building. Oates did not say whether any explosives had been found.
 
He said police also checked for explosives in the parking lot and at the Century 16 theater and secured those areas.
 
President Barack Obama said he was saddened by the "horrific and tragic shooting," pledging that his administration was "committed to bringing whoever was responsible to justice, ensuring the safety of our people, and caring for those who have been wounded."
 
Moviegoers spoke of their terror as violence erupted and people around them fell victim.
 
Bejamin Fernandez, 30, told the Post that he heard a series of explosions. He said that people ran from the theater and there were gunshots as police shouted "get down!"
 
Frenandez said he saw people falling, including one young girl.
 
Jordan told the paper that one girl was struck in cheek, others in stomach including a girl who looked to be around 9-years-old.
 
Jordan said it sounded like firecrackers until someone ran into Theater 8 yelling "they're shooting out here!"
 
Hayden Miller told KUSA-TV that he heard several shots.
 
"Like little explosions going on and shortly after that we heard people screaming," he told the station.
 
Hayden said at first he thought it was part of a louder movie next door. But then he saw "people hunched over leaving theater."
 
The police chief said 10 victims died at the theater and four at area hospitals.
 
At least 24 people were being treated at Denver area hospitals.
 
KUSA reported that some hospitalized victims were being treated for chemical exposure, related apparently to canister thrown by gunman.
 
Eleven people were being treated at the Medical Center of Aurora for gunshots and ranged from minor to critical condition. Two others walked in to be treated for tear gas contamination.
 
Denver Health had seven victims - one in critical and the rest in fair condition.
 
The youngest victim reported was a 6-year-old being treated at Children's Hospital Colorado, where a total of six victims were taken. Their condition wasn't known.
 
Two people in critical condition were rushed to nearby Swedish Medical Center, spokeswoman Nicole Williams said.
 
Aurora is on Denver's east side and is Colorado's third-largest city with 327,000 residents. It is home to a large Defense Department satellite intelligence operation at Buckley Air Force Base, as well as The Children's Hospital, the University of Colorado Hospital and a future Veterans Affairs hospital.
 
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