A gunman in a gas mask opened fire on the crowd at a midnight screening of the new Batman movie in a Denver suburb, killing at least 12 and injuring about 50, according to reports from the Associated Press.
The suspected shooter has been identified as 24-year-old James Holmes.
According to KDVR, the shooting began the moment Batman first appeared on screen. A witness told CNN that he saw a “guy slowly making his way up the stairs and firing, picking random people.”
Another witness told Sky News that he “thought it was a publicity stunt.”
One Denver woman at the screening live-tweeted the horror.
Shots fired in the theater. #batman #aurora #colorado— Caitlin
@LustInLove Yes. It was my theater. I’m outside, one of my friends is still inside. No one knows what’s going on.— Caitlin
Oh God, I don’t know what to do.— Caitlin
Everybody please pray for my friend Alex.— Caitlin
They’re putting us in a bus to a nearby high school now. #aurora #batman #shooting— Caitlin
Thank you for your prayers, everyone. Alex is still missing.— Caitlin
More on Twitter mourned friends who were confirmed dead.
My friend Jessica Ghawi was killed in the #Aurora Shooting-she was an aspiring sportscaster-she will be missed http://t.co/cnUesuoP— Natalie Tejeda
President Obama released a statement with his condolences:
Michelle and I are shocked and saddened by the horrific and tragic shooting in Colorado. Federal and local 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. All of us must have the people of Aurora in our thoughts and prayers as they confront the loss of family, friends, and neighbors, and we must stand together with them in the challenging hours and days to come.
Presidential candidate Mitt Romney also released the following statement:
Ann and I are deeply saddened by the news of the senseless violence that took the lives of 15 people in Colorado and injured dozens more. We are praying for the families and loved ones of the victims during this time of deep shock and immense grief. We expect that the person responsible for this terrible crime will be quickly brought to justice.