The Dark Knight Rises, the last chapter in Christopher Nolan's epic trilogy, enjoyed a number of sold-out midnight shows across the country, though one Colorado screening ended in tragedy when a man wearing a gas mask entered the theater and opened fire on those in attendance. When James Holmes' shooting spree came to an end, 14 people had lost their lives and 50 were injured, including a 6 year-old child. All they wanted to do was watch a movie.
Roughly thirty minutes into the feature, Holmes entered the theater through the exit door. "The suspect throws tear gas in the air, and as the tear gas appears he started shooting," explained Lamar Lane, who was watching the flick with his brother. "It was very hard to breathe. I told my brother to take cover. It took awhile. I started seeing flashes and screaming, I just saw blood and people yelling and a quick glimpse of the guy who had a gas mask on. I was pushed out. There was chaos, we started running."
Holmes proceeded to open fire on anybody and everybody, shooting people at random as the movie played on. Those who attempted to flee the scene were systematically gunned down for their efforts. According to reports, the reign of terror lasted around fifteen minutes, after which police found the suspect standing near his car. Holmes claimed that he "may" have explosives in his car and at his apartment. Although authorities did not find anything in the parking lot, they have confirmed that additional weaponry was found at his place of residence.
The tragedy has prompted President Obama to issue a statement. "Michelle and I are shocked and saddened by the horrific and tragic shooting in Colorado. Federal and local law enforcement are still responding, and my administration will do everything that we can to support the people of Aurora in this extraordinarily difficult time. We are committed to bringing whoever was responsible to justice, ensuring the safety of our people, and caring for those who have been wounded."
I honestly cannot express my sadness enough. It's actually kind of hard to wrap your head around it. My heart goes out to the families of those who lost their lives attempting to watch a movie they'd waited for years to see. To those who were injured in the shooting, I wish you nothing but speedy recoveries. Below you can find some Twitter reactions to this senseless act. As you head into the weekend, try to keep these folks in your thoughts and prayers.
Prayers for the Batman fandom. What a terrible and utterly senseless thing to have happen.
Honestly having trouble thinking about or working on anything other than this horrific Batman Movie Massacre story http://t.co/mI67QRDh
a guy killed 14 people in a theater in Colorado during the premiere of batman? there are some messed up people in this world. makes me sick
I'm still kinda sad and a little messed up. I got no connection to this thing personally, but . . . we just wanted a movie. About Batman.
Trying to figure out how to explain to my son, who dressed as Batman for halloween, how something like this could ever happen ever. Failing.
Thank a cop or soldier today. They're the ones who have to deal with these tragedies since there isn't really a Batman. #DarkNightIndeed
Oh no ! Just woke up and turned on the news "14 dead 50 hurt in Batman movie shooting". Praying for victims. So sorry and sad.
Rest In Peace to all those people who just lost their lives while out trying to enjoy their lives watching the Batman film...that's sad.