A gunman opened fire on movie goers at a theater in Aurora, Colorado early Friday, leaving at least a dozen people dead and nearly 40 others wounded. The suspect, who has been identified as 24-year-old James Holmes by law enforcement sources, was taken into custody without incident in the theater’s rear parking lot. Police seized a rifle, a shotgun, two handguns and a gas mask at the scene.
According to reports, Holmes entered a showing of The Dark Knight Rises at Century Aurora 16 Theater through an emergency exit around 12:30 a.m. He threw a smoke bomb before opening fire on the audience. Chaos ensued as terrified moviegoers began fleeing the auditorium. People in other theaters were told to run.
Police quickly descended on the scene and secured the building. Officers helped carry the wounded to waiting ambulances. Ten people died at the scene and two others died at a local hospital. At least 38 people were wounded. Several of the victims were children, the youngest reportedly 3-months-old.
After his arrest Holmes told police he left explosives in his apartment. Bomb squads have evacuated the apartment building to investigate. Authorities also checked the theater for explosives, but none were found.
Warner Bros., the studio behind the Batman film, offered its condolences to the victims and their families. “Warner Bros. and the filmmakers are deeply saddened to learn about this shocking incident. We extend our sincere sympathies to the families and loved ones of the victims at this tragic time,” the studio said.
The Paris premiere of the film has been canceled as well as press interviews with the cast, which includes Anne Hathaway and Christian Bale. In New York, authorities plan to up security at theaters showing The Dark Knight Rises.
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