12 dead in 'The Dark Knight Rises' screening shooting
At least 12 cinemagoers have been shot dead and dozens more wounded in a shooting at an early screening of Christopher Nolan's 'Batman' trilogy closer 'The Dark Knight Rises'.
The shooting happened at a midnight showing near Denver, Colorado.
Eyewitnesses reported that a man wearing a gas mask opened fire on the audience after throwing a tear gas canister at the crowd.
All in all, police estimated that 50 people had been shot at the cinema in the city of Aurora. Some victims were children, including a four-month-old-baby and a six-year-old who both survived.
Found in a car park nearby, the suspect was arrested. He was a 24-year-old former medical student. He had a rifle, handgun and a knife on him when officers confronted him. Another gun was recovered from the theatre.
When police forces investigated the suspect's home, they found that it was boobytrapped with explosives, prompting the apartment complex to be evacuated.
The FBI have since named the gunman as a local resident named James Holmes, a white American with no terrorism ties yet established. He dropped out of the University of Colorado School of Medicine in Denver.
The gunman picked an action scene in the film to mask his actions. Some witnesses believed that they initially thought it was a gimmick put on by the cinema staff.
One witness, Chayyiel Jackson, told the BBC: "During the first action scene in the movie, on the right side a dude came in all blacked out, with a black mask. At first we thought it was part of the movie event.
"He threw tear gas across the crowd and after that people started to panic. He pulled out a rifle and started shooting.
"I was wondering if this was real life or a dream."
Responding to the tragedy, President Obama said in a statement that he and First Lady Michelle Obama were "shocked and saddened by the horrific and tragic shooting".
He added: "As we do when confronted by moments of darkness and challenge, we must now come together as one American family."
More details on 'The Dark Knight Rises' can be found HERE.
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