Mass Shooting At Denver Batman Movie Premiere

Reply Fri 20 Jul, 2012 10:37 am
Jessica Ghawi, who used the professional name Jessica Redfield, was an aspiring sports journalist. She was in Toronto in June when a gunman opened fire in the Eatson Center (a major enclosed mall), killing tow and wounding six, and she had just left the food court where the shooting took place. She wrote:

After buying dinner in the mall's food court at 6:20 p.m., Redfield wrote that she felt "funny" and left the mall to get some fresh air.

"It was almost a panicky feeling that left my chest feeling like something was missing. A feeling that was overwhelming enough to lead me to head outside in the rain," she wrote.

"The gunshots rung out at 6:23. Had I not gone outside, I would’ve been in the midst of gunfire."

Jessica Ghawi was one ot the twelve people killed in the theater last night.
0 Replies
Reply Fri 20 Jul, 2012 11:06 am

Just heard that a pregnant woman was shot in both the face and the chest during the incident. (She is still alive at the moment. They did not give any indications as to how bad her injuries are, though she is still hospitalized.)
Reply Fri 20 Jul, 2012 11:30 am
this is all just dreadful
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Reply Fri 20 Jul, 2012 11:30 am
Real-Life Horror: Many Killed, Dozens Wounded At Colorado Movie Theater
July 20, 2012
by Mark Memmott - NPR

— One suspect is in custody. Federal law enforcement sources with knowledge of the investigation told NPR that his name is James Holmes. The Denver Post says he "described himself in an apartment rental application last year as a student who was 'quiet and easy going.' " He's due in court on Monday.

— President Obama and Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney each set aside their campaigns and urged Americans reach out to each other in this time of mourning. "Evil is overcome," said Romney, with "the goodness and compassion of a wounded community." The nation needs to embrace the victims, said the president, "and let them know we will be there for them as a nation."

The story:

A midnight screening of the new Batman movie The Dark Knight Rises turned into a horribly real scene of death and destruction in Aurora, Colo., early Friday when a gunman opened fire on the audience.

The initial report from Aurora Police Chief Dan Oates was that at least 14 people were killed and another 50 or so had been wounded. Later, police said there were 12 fatalities. A suspect, who federal law enforcement officials say is a 24-year man named James Holmes, was arrested shortly after the rampage. He's thought to have acted alone. Fearing that the gunman's apartment may be rigged with explosive booby traps, authorities evacuated the nearby area.

The Denver Post writes that:

"A witness, Benjamin Fernandez, 30, said he was watching the movie when he heard a series of explosions. He said that people ran from the theater and there were gunshots as police shouted 'get down!'

"Fernandez said he saw people falling, including one young girl."

We'll be following this story as the day continues. Click "refresh" to be sure you're seeing our latest updates.

Update at 12:50 p.m. ET. After This "Hateful Act," Romney Says This Is Time To Reflect On "How Much We Love One Another:"

Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney just said at an event in Bow, N.H., that "our hearts break with the sadness of this unspeakable tragedy. ... Ann and I join the president and first lady and all Americans in offering our deepest condolences" to the victims and their families.

After such a "hateful act," Romney said, it's important to reflect on "how much we love one another and how much we love and care for our great country."

"Evil is overcome," said Romney, with "the goodness and compassion of a wounded community." We will all, he said, "hold our kids a little closer" after this tragedy. And he urged Americans to "offer comfort to someone near us who is suffering or mourning."

Update at 12:30 p.m. ET. Photo Of James Holmes:

The University of Colorado Denver / Anschutz Medical Campus has released a statement confirming that Holmes enrolled at the school in June 2011 and "was in the process of withdrawing from the University of Colorado Denver's graduate program in neurosciences." It also released a photo of Holmes.
The photo of James Holmes released by the University of Colorado Denver.
University of Colorado Denver

The photo of James Holmes released by the University of Colorado Denver.

Update at 11:55 a.m. ET. Witness Accounts On The Web:

The Atlantic runs through the way some witnesses and victims used Twitter, Reddit and other platforms to get the story out — including photos of what they say are their own injuries. The links take you to some graphic images and compelling tales. And on Reddit, by the way, there are some "comprehensive timelines" of the Aurora news. There are some valuable links sprinkled through them.

Update at 11:40 a.m. ET. Military Personnel Among Victims:

"Some members of the military were either killed or wounded" in the shooting, Pentagon spokesman George Little says, according to the AP. It isn't clear yet how many.

Update at 11:30 a.m. ET. School Says Holmes Was A Med Student Until Recently; His Family :

The Associated Press is reporting that "the suspect in a mass shooting at a Colorado movie theater dropped out of medical school last month. Spokeswoman Jacque Montgomery says 24-year-old James Holmes was a student at the University of Colorado School of Medicine in Denver until last month. She did not know when he started school or why he withdrew."

Meanwhile, San Diego's Fox5-TV says Holmes family, which lives in the San Diego area, has issued a statement saying their hearts go out to the victims. The station is live-streaming its coverage here.

Update at 11:20 a.m. ET. Suspect Due In Court On Monday:

"9NEWS has confirmed Holmes is scheduled to appear in court to face charges Monday afternoon," Denver's KUSA-TV reports.

Update at 11 a.m. ET. "Pretty Sophisticated" Explosive Devices Found At Suspect's Apartment, Police Say:

While CNN reported earlier that no explosives had been found at Holmes' apartment, The Denver Post now writes that:

"Police say that the apartment of the suspect ... appears to be booby trapped. [Aurora] Police Chief Dan Oates said the explosive devices were 'pretty sophisticated.'

" 'We could be here for days,' he said."

Update at 10:45 a.m. ET. Obama Says Tragedy Reminds Us "We Are United:"

Speaking in Florida moments ago, President Obama said "this morning, we woke up to news of a tragedy that reminds us of all the ways that we are united as one American family."
Location of the shootings.

Credit: NPR

"Such violence, such evil is senseless," he added. But the tragedy, he said, reminds us that what's important is "how we treat one another and how we love one another." The president noted this his daughters go to the movies. He and the first lady will "hug our girls a little tighter tonight," Obama said, and the nation needs to embrace the victims "and let them know we will be there for them as a nation." Today, Obama said, is not a day for politics.

Update at 10:40 a.m. ET. "Quiet And Easy Going":

According to The Denver Post Holmes "described himself in an apartment rental application last year as a student who was 'quiet and easy going.' "

Update at 10:25 a.m. ET. CNN Says No Explosives Were Found At Suspect's Apartment:

According to its sources, CNN says, authorities have found no explosives at the suspect's apartment. The Denver Post isn't reporting that development yet, however.

Update at 9:20 a.m. ET. Obama Cancels Event In Florida; Will Speak About Shootings:

The White House says President Obama has canceled a campaign event planned for this afternoon in Winter Park, Fla., and that later this morning he will "address the tragedy in Aurora." Then, the president will return to the White House from Florida.

Update at 8:50 a.m. ET. Suspect Named:

Two federal law enforcement sources with knowledge of the investigation have told NPR's Carrie Johnson that the suspect's name is James Holmes. The Associated Press said it has been told by sources that he is "a 24-year-old white American."

Update at 8:35 a.m. ET. Raw Video From Outside The Theaters:

The Denver Post has a short video clip of the scene outside the theaters shortly after the shooting.

Update at 8:25 a.m. ET. Numbers Revised; 12 "Confirmed Dead;" About 38 Injured:

As often happens in the early hours of a tragedy such as this, the news is changing. Aurora police just released a statement saying that there were "approximately 50 victims, with at least 12 confirmed dead." The statement adds that police "arrested one party at the rear of the theater."

Update at 8:10 a.m. ET. Four Weapons Reportedly Recovered:

NPR's Carrie Johnson tells our Newscast Desk that federal law enforcement officials say a rifle, a shotgun and two handguns were recovered at the movie theater. She also reports that officials say the suspect's apartment "appears to be booby trapped." Explosives experts are on the scene.

Update at 8 a.m. ET. Youngest Person Injured Is 3-Months-Old.

According to the AP: "At least 48 people are being treated at Denver area hospitals after a mass shooting a movie theater — the youngest a 3-month-old baby."

Update at 7:50 a.m. ET. Witness: "Thank God I Wasn't On The Right Side."

Chayyiel Jackson of Aurora told Morning Edition that he was up front, on the left side of the theater, when the gunman came in from an exit door on the right side. The man, clad all in black, threw some sort of gas canister and then began firing.

Steve Inskeep speaks with witness Chayyiel Jackson

At first he thought it might be a stunt. Then Jackson saw the flashes of gunfire. "I just ducked down and ran out," he said. "Thank God I wasn't on the right side."

Update at 7:40 a.m. ET. FBI Says There's No Sign Of Connection To Terrorism.

The AP just moved this alert:

"FBI: No indication in Colo. shooting probe so far of any connection to terrorism."

Update at 7:35 a.m. ET. Suspected Hinted That He'd Left Bombs Elsewhere:

Ben Markus of Colorado Public Radio tells our Newscast Desk that it's being reported that the suspect "hinted to officers that there may be an explosive device in his apartment or the parking lot of the mall."

Update at 7:20 a.m. ET. "He Looked So Calm When He Did It":

KUSA-TV has posted a video interview with two young men who describe what they say they saw inside the theater. "He looked so calm when he did it," one of the young men, identified as Trey Freeman, says of the shooter.

They say the shooter said nothing as he began firing. He was wearing all black, including some kind of mask.

Update at 7:15 a.m. ET. News Briefing Set For 1 P.M. ET:

Aurora police have scheduled a news briefing for 11 a.m. MT. That's 1 p.m. ET.

Update at 7:10 a.m. ET. "I Thought It Was Pretty Much The End Of The World":

The shooting happened in Theater 9 — one of 16 screens at the movie complex and one of three that was showing Dark Knight Rises. Robert Jones, 28, told the Post that he was in Theater 9.

"Jones said when he first saw smoke billowing from the front of the theater, he thought it was a special effect. Shots rang out almost immediately after.

" 'I thought it was pretty much the end of the world,' Roberts said."

Update at 7:05 a.m. ET. Live Coverage From Denver:

KUSA-TV is streaming its coverage here.

Reply Fri 20 Jul, 2012 11:35 am
Movie-Theater Shootings Put Presidential Politics On Hold
July 20, 2012
by Frank James - NPR

President Obama turned a planned campaign speech in Fort Myers, Fla., into a brief statement about the shooting rampage. He asked the audience to join him in a moment of silence for the victims.

As deeply as the mass shootings in Aurora, Colo., shocked the national conscience, they also quickly affected the U.S. political scene, with both major party presidential campaigns ripping up their scripts for Friday, and the mayor of the nation's largest city using the issue to put the candidates on the spot on gun control.

Following news reports of the deaths of at least 12 people attending a Denver-area midnight movie theater showing of The Dark Knight Rises, both President Obama and Republican challenger Mitt Romney revised their campaign schedules.

The president had planned to hold Florida campaign rallies in Fort Myers and Orlando. Instead, Obama canceled the Orlando event and turned the Fort Myers appearance — which had been planned as a rollicking rally to fire up supporters — into a brief and somber affair as the president channeled the national mood.

"There are going to be other days for politics. This is a day for prayer and reflection," Obama said, before he asked the audience to join him in a moment of silence for the victims and their families.

Obama underscored that it wasn't the time for political applause lines or zingers aimed at Romney and congressional Republicans by saying:

"If there's anything to take away from this tragedy, it's the reminder that life is very fragile. Our time here is limited and it is precious. And what matters at the end of the day is not the small things, not the trivial things which so often consume us in our daily lives. Ultimately, it's how we choose to treat each other and how we love one another."

The president canceled the planned Orlando event to return to Washington and monitor the situation in Aurora, Colo.

The White House also issued a statement from the president and first lady Michelle Obama, who canceled two Friday campaign stops in Virginia. Vice President Biden canceled a scheduled campaign appearance in Houston, a fundraiser for the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee.

Striking a tone similar to the president's, Romney, the all-but-official Republican presidential nominee, told a crowd at what was supposed to have been a campaign event in Bow, N.H.:

"Today is a moment to grieve and remember, and to reach out and to help, to appreciate our blessings in life. Each one of us will hold our kids a little closer, linger a bit longer with a colleague or a neighbor, reach out to a family member or friend.

"We'll all spend a little less time thinking about the worries of our day and more time wondering about how to help those who are in need of compassion most. The answer is that we can come together. We will show our fellow citizens the good heart of the America we know and love."

Romney's campaign also issued a statement on behalf of himself and his wife, Ann. Mrs. Romney also canceled political appearances scheduled for Friday.

Both the Obama and Romney campaigns scrambled in the hours following the shootings to pull down their political ads in Colorado out of respect for the victims and the desire to avoid the appearance of crassness in a key battleground state.

Obama's campaign said it would stop airing "contrast" ads, which also are known as negative ads. Romney's campaign said it was pulling down all ads in Colorado for now.

With so many killed and wounded by a gunman, it was inevitable that the issue of gun control, which has played little role in the campaign, would emerge.

Early Friday, New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg reacted to the shootings by calling on both Obama and Romney to provide specific details on how they wound combat gun violence in the nation.

During a WOR Radio interview, Bloomberg said:

"You know, soothing words are nice, but maybe it's time that the two people who want to be president of the United States stand up and tell us what they are going to do about it, because this is obviously a problem across the country. And everybody always says, 'Isn't it tragic?' And, you know, we look for, was the guy, as you said, maybe trying to re-create Batman.

"I mean, there are so many murders with guns every day, it's just got to stop. And instead of the two people — President Obama and Gov. Romney — talking in broad things about, they want to make the world a better place, OK, tell us how. And this is a real problem. No matter where you stand on the Second Amendment, no matter where you stand on guns, we have a right to hear from both of them concretely, not just in generalities — specifically what are they going to do about guns?"

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Reply Fri 20 Jul, 2012 11:38 am
I really wonder if some sort of law preventing publishing the name + photo of the shooter in this sort of situation would be feasible

I get the sense that this guy is very, very pleased about all of the attention he's getting.

Not sure if it would be enough to discourage others who might think about doing something like this in the future. Plus would be really hard to enforce. (Everyone's curious.)
Below viewing threshold (view)
Reply Fri 20 Jul, 2012 12:23 pm
I think that one advantage of publicizing his name and photo is that people may come forward with additional information about this man and his possible motivations. They do want to get as much information about this man as possible.

I just heard on the news that he said, "I am the Joker," referring to the character in Batman, and that he had his hair dyed red.

What a horrible tragedy.

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Reply Fri 20 Jul, 2012 12:35 pm
joefromchicago wrote:
If everyone in the movie theater were armed, none of this would have happened.

Or, if one other person was armed, maybe the casualty toll would have been less.
Reply Fri 20 Jul, 2012 12:38 pm
Ticomaya wrote:

joefromchicago wrote:
If everyone in the movie theater were armed, none of this would have happened.

Or, if one other person was armed, maybe the casualty toll would have been less.

or as happened in Toronto earlier this week, the second gun could have turned it into a random shots fired gun battle

I can't think of anything good to say about guns in cities. Hunting for needed food, I understand. Guns in the city, I don't understand.
Atom Blitzer
Reply Fri 20 Jul, 2012 12:41 pm
Motive is very simple to deduce: He took a small step between genius and insanity.

The nutcase needs to be executed, no questions asked. Address the victims only.

Anyway, Who takes a 3 month old baby to a movie at midnight?
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Walter Hinteler
Reply Fri 20 Jul, 2012 12:43 pm
According to the Colorado State Patrol website, Colorado allows individuals to carry loaded or unloaded firearms, and to do so in a "dwelling, place of business, or automobile." A permit to carry a concealed weapon, if an individual is not a current or retired law enforcement officer, must be obtained through county sheriffs' departments.
Colorado prohibits gun registration, according to the CSP.
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Reply Fri 20 Jul, 2012 12:52 pm
Why does Setanta keep going on a trivial things like threads being fucked up as if his opinion on such a matter is a big deal.

What an idiotic post that was.
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Reply Fri 20 Jul, 2012 01:02 pm
Ticomaya wrote:

joefromchicago wrote:
If everyone in the movie theater were armed, none of this would have happened.

Or, if one other person was armed, maybe the casualty toll would have been less.

You don't want everyone to carry a handgun? Why do you hate America?
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Reply Fri 20 Jul, 2012 01:03 pm

More precisely, what the **** is wrong with white American people?
Reply Fri 20 Jul, 2012 01:24 pm
You are joking right. Senseless murder happens anywhere you go, even in America. America isn't perfect, neither are other countries, so I don't know who you're comparing America to.
Compared to the rest of the world America and its people as a whole aren't that bad.
We just need some more regulation, that's all.
Everybody likes watching this stuff on the big screen but sucks big time when it's in real life. The irony.
Reply Fri 20 Jul, 2012 01:24 pm
Oh, so that guy in Norway was an American?
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Reply Fri 20 Jul, 2012 02:23 pm
ehBeth wrote:
or as happened in Toronto earlier this week, the second gun could have turned it into a random shots fired gun battle

I can't think of anything good to say about guns in cities. Hunting for needed food, I understand. Guns in the city, I don't understand.

My guess is the moviegoers in Colorado would have preferred to have had one or more armed citizens seated in the theater this morning when that tragedy unfolded.
Reply Fri 20 Jul, 2012 02:33 pm
Doubt it. The whole thing was over in just a few seconds - that's hardly time for someone to realize what's going on, let alone pick out their assailant in a crowded theater, draw, and return fire. And to hit the guy accurately, instead of just whizzing bullets all over the place because the would-be hero is busy shitting bricks.

Not only that, but the dude was armored up all over, so it's hardly a given that it would have even prevented the massacre at all.

In short: more guns in the theater = more danger; Not Equal prevention or effective response to acts such as this.

Reply Fri 20 Jul, 2012 02:59 pm
I lived in Aurora when I first moved back here in 2000. I have been to that theater more times then I can count. My family left Aurora and moved to the west side of town (30 min) away back in 2005 and haven't been back sense.

It is pretty scary to think about, I went to the Marvel Marathon when The Avengers was released, and I can imagine that many people packed into a theater and something like this happens, the confusion, the fear, the panic.

In the spirit of the old west, this guy needs to swing from a tree like a horse thief.


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