I’m horrified. I’m sure most of you heard the news. NBC News reports that a gunman wearing a riot helmet and goggles opened fire on the audience at a midnight showing of “The Dark Knight Rises” near Denver on Friday, killing 12 people and wounding 38 others in a scene of “mass chaos,” authorities and witnesses said.
The apartment of the suspect, identified as James Holmes, 24, had been booby-trapped with what police described as sophisticated explosives or flammable materials, and officers were trying to determine how to defuse them, Aurora Police Chief Dan Oates said. The area was evacuated, and police were expected to remain on the scene “for hours or days,” he said.
Oates initially said 14 people had been killed, but the figure was later revised to 12.
Holmes, a former graduate student in the neuroscience program at University of Colorado medical school, put up no resistance when he was arrested in a parking lot at the theater, police said. They said there was no evidence of other suspects.
“We’re pretty confident he acted alone,” Officer Frank Fania told TODAY.
The victims, who were being treated in at least six hospitals, included a 6-year-old. A 4-month-old baby also was treated and released. The oldest reported patient is 45.
“It was mass chaos,” witness Jennifer Seeger told TODAY. The gunman shot the ceiling and then “he threw in the gas can, and then I knew it was real.”
“I told my friend, ‘We’ve got to get out of here,’ but then he shot people trying to go out the exits,” Seeger said. She said the shooter made his way up the aisle, shooting as he went, saying nothing.
Police raiding the theater in the hunt for the suspect had to ask for gas masks.
“Get us some damn gas masks for theater 9. We can’t get in it,” one officer radioed back to emergency dispatch during the operation, according to an excerpt aired on KUSA.
Moviegoers described scenes of chaos and terror inside the movie theater.
Seeger told TODAY there were “a lot of children” in the theater.
“When I … tried to escape, there was a little girl, 12 or 13, just laying lifeless on the stairs,” she said.
“I got terrified. I didn’t know what to do, like a deer in the headlights. I jumped into the aisle and curled up into a little ball waiting for him to go away,” she told TODAY.
My prayers are with the families who lost loved ones in this horrible tragedy. This is so sad. I can’t even surround my head around it.