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Late last night during the midnight screening of The Dark Knight Rises in Aurora, CO, a man armed with a rifle, pistol, smoke bomb and a gas mask opened fire on a packed movie theater, killing at least 12 people and injuring more than 50. The shooter, James Holmes, was apprehended at the scene wearing a bullet-proof vest and riot helmet.
Image Courtesy of AP
At around 12:30 am MT, 911 was flooded with calls from panicked customers. According to police, Holmes entered the theater through an emergency exit and set off a smoke bomb, filling the auditorium with fog before opening fire using multiple weapons. Victims, including a child as young as 6, were taken to local hospitals to be treated for wounds.
Witness Chris Jones said, "We were maybe 20 or 30 minutes into the movie and all you hear, first you smell smoke, everybody thought it was fireworks or something like that, and then you just see people dropping and the gunshots are constant. I heard at least 20 or 30 rounds within that minute or two."
"Michelle and I are shocked and saddened by the horrific and tragic shooting in Colorado," President Barack Obama said in a statement today. "Federal and 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. As we do when confronted by moments of darkness and challenge, we must now come together as one American family."
Image Courtesy of Karl Gehring/The Denver Post
More than 100 FBI agents were on the scene, however there is no evidence linking Holmes to any terrorist organizations at this time. This is the worst shooting in Colorado's history since the Columbine High School tragedy in 1999.
As this is breaking news, check back for updates as more details emerge.
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