A midnight viewing of the Dark Knight rises ended up deadly at the16 Movie Theatre at the Aurora Town Center in Colorado. At approximately 12:39 a.m., a gunman opened fire on the Denver suburb movie theatre, killing 17 and injuring approximately 50 people.
The movie was only about 20 to 30 minutes into playing when witnesses claimed to first smell smoke, then hear the gunshots.
Everybody thought it was fireworks or something like that, Christ Jones, a witness told ABC's Denver affiliate KMGH. Then you just see people dropping and the gunshots are constant. I heard at least 20 to 30 rounds within that minute or two.
According to witness accounts, a man kicked in the emergency door and appeared at the front the theatre with a rifle, handgun and gas mask. After releasing an unidentified gas, the man started to open fire on the crowd.
Another witness account explains seeing the gunman walk up the stairs of the theatre and picking random people to fire at.
Movie-goers were not completely aware of the situation at first, some believing that the smoke and gunfire were just special effects to go along with the movie.
Besides local police, approximately 100 FBI agents were at the scene. CNN reports that police arrested an unidentified male in his early 20's that they believe to be the shooter.
He did not resist. He did not put up a fight, Police Spokesman Frank Fania told CNN. Police a rifle and a handgun from the suspect, and another gun was found in the theatre. Currently there is no word on what the motive was for the shooting.
After apprehending the suspect, police were forced to evacuate an apartment building after learning of possible explosives at his residence. No statement has currently been made on whether explosives were found at the home.
President Obama has issued a statement on the Colorado shooting, stating, As we do when confrtoted by moments of darkness and challenge, we must now come together as one American family. The President also expressed how shocked and saddened he was in the statement, pledging that the victims of the shooting have the administration's support.
Ten of the victims of the shooting died at the theatre, while four more died at the local hospitals. The AP reports the youngest victim to be six-years-old, who is being treated at the Colorado Children's Hospital with five other victims.