The Colorado shooting during The Dark Knight Rises premier is another in a string of tragedies that nobody can really explain. That doesn't mean the mainstream won't try. They get their ratings on speculation and blaming everything from video games to music as a way to explain what can't be explained. You won't see any actual news beyond a brief explanation of events before they jump into ratings mode. So where are we going to get the actual news?
Reddit lit up with activity as soon as the shooting occurred with a thread on AskReddit titled: "Someone came into our theater at the midnight release of Dark Knight Rises and began opening fire. Who here on Reddit can help me calm my nerves?" From there, the news exploded with many redditors using police scanners to track what was really happening in real time and updating everyone on the events.
One redditor by the handle of integ3r has created a timeline that details when everything happened based on reports from other redditors alongside reports from police scanners and local news sources. Here are some of the eye-witness accounts from Redditors and other social media:
Someone set off some little party poppers in our theatre, next thing I know someone runs in and said there was a shooting. We huddled down into the seats because people were outside the exit. I was fortunate enough to get home safely with my sister but a few friends are still stuck there.
My best friend was at this. She said it happened about 30-40 minutes into the midnight premiere. Someone burst through the door and started shooting tear gas and then a gun. The only reason they got out was because they hit the ground and went for the door on their bellies. OMFG.
We were 20 min into the movie when the fire alarms started going off. We thought it was a prank. Then emergency intercom came on say there was a situation and we need to evacuate immediately. Next thing we know there was a police officer was outside the emergency exit with a shotgun yelling at us to run as far away from the theater as possible. We run out. There were people covered with blood every where with what looked like bullet wounds. Kids were crying . It was a terrible scene. Talked to some people, they are saying a man came into one of the theaters threw an explosive device and started shooting.
The Denver subreddit has also been exploding with first-hand accounts of what actually happened at the theater this morning. While the news accounts can only go with what the police or people on scene can tell them in a panic, the reports from Reddit are well articulated and thought out. Sure, it might not get top billing in a news program, but there's far more information here than anywhere else.
Last, but certainly not least, one victim has taken pictures of his bullet wound. It quickly shot to the top of Reddit's front page. You can see the pictures here. If you can't handle blood, you're probably better off not checking it out. Let's just say this guy is happy to be alive.
All of this is to say that Reddit, Twitter and other forms of online communication have made news more alive than any television program can make them. History is made by the first-hand accounts of the people who were there, not some reporter reading off of a teleprompter. What happened in Colorado this morning is nothing short of a tragedy, but we're at least far more knowledgable about the events thanks to Reddit.