Tragedy: Batman US cinema shooting: 12 dead in Colorado

Tragedy: Batman US cinema shooting: 12 dead in Colorado


Map
Amateur video posted on YouTube is said to show the scene immediately after the shooting

At least 12 people have been killed and dozens wounded in a shooting at a midnight cinema showing of the new Batman film near Denver, Colorado.

Witnesses said a man wearing a gas mask opened fire after tossing a tear gas canister in the auditorium as movie-goers watched The Dark Knight Rises.

A 24-year-old former medical student was arrested in a car park nearby. He had a rifle, handgun and knife.

Another gun was recovered from the theatre, in the city of Aurora.

Police revised down the death toll from 14 earlier. They said about 50 people had been shot, including the deceased.

‘Booby-trapped home’
FBI sources named the gunman as Aurora resident James Holmes, a white American. They said no terrorism link had been established.

President Obama: “It is a day for reflection and prayer”

Police said he had been a student at the University of Colorado School of Medicine in Denver until he dropped out last month.

US President Barack Obama has spoken of his shock at the incident, which began at about 00:30 local time (06:30 GMT) at the Century 16 cinema multiplex.

Acting on information from the suspect, the authorities said they had discovered his home in the north of Aurora was booby-trapped with flammable and explosive material.

The apartment complex was evacuated as FBI agents and police used a fire engine ladder to reach the property, and put a camera on the end of pole to look inside.

Police chief Dan Oates said the massacre was “a horrific event”.

“The shooting apparently went on for some time,” he added.

Evan Dozier was in the cinema with his wife and children

Witnesses said the gunman opened fire during an action scene in the summer blockbuster.

The gunman was described as wearing a bullet-proof vest and riot gear, an outfit similar to that of the villain Bane in The Dark Knight Rises.

There was chaos as movie-goers, some dressed in costume as heroes and villains, fled.

Ten people were killed at the cinema and two others died later in hospital of their wounds.

Many ambulances attended the scene.

‘Firing at random’
About 50 people, some in a critical condition, were taken to four hospitals. Several victims were reportedly suffering from the effects of chemical exposure from the canister thrown by the gunman.

Colorado gun laws

  • Residents allowed to keep guns in homes, offices and vehicles, but can only carry them in public with a permit
  • There are no limits to how many guns can be bought a month, and the state permits sale of automatic weapons
  • No waiting period for buying a handgun, both state and federal state law requires criminal background checks
  • Since 1998 Columbine massacre, 20 miles from scene of Friday’s shooting, it has become easier to buy guns in US – a national ban on assault weapons sale expired in 2004

The casualties included a four-month-old baby, who was released from hospital after treatment, and a six-year-old child.

One witness said the gunman had been “slowly making his way up the stairs and just firing – picking random people”.

Another 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.”

It is reported that some of the shots fired went through the wall and may have hit people in an adjacent auditorium.

Another eyewitness, identified only as Pam, told the BBC: “He fired a canister into the air. It shot it right into the air, then I started to hear the bang, bang, bang of a gun.

US mass shootings

  • Nov 2009: US Army psychiatrist Maj Nidal Malik Hasan allegedly kills 13 people at the Fort Hood base in Texas.
  • April 2009: Vietnamese immigrant Jiverly Wong, 41, shoots dead 13 people at a New York state immigration centre.
  • March 2009: After compiling a “hit list”, Michael McLendon, 28, kills 10 people, including his mother and uncle, in two Alabama towns.
  • April 2007: South Korean student Seung-Hui Cho, 23, guns down 27 fellow students and five staff at Virginia Tech university.
  • July 1999: Stock trader Mark Barton, 44, shoots his wife and two children at his Atlanta, Georgia home then kills nine in city’s business district.
  • April 1999: Eric Harris, 18, and Dylan Klebold, 17, kill 12 students and a teacher at Columbine High School in Littleton, Colorado.

“I crawled my way through the row. Luckily the exit was close to where I was sitting so I got out pretty fast. I heard more shots as I left.”

Another eyewitness, Salina Jordan, 19, told the Denver Post she had seen one girl shot in the cheek, and a girl who appeared to be about nine years old with a gunshot wound to the stomach.

A witness in the next-door theatre told 9News he initially thought live special effects had been laid on by the cinema after hearing loud bangs and seeing smoke.

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.”

New York Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly said his officers would patrol screenings of the film in that city to deter any copycat shootings.

Plans for Friday night’s red carpet premiere of the film on the Champs-Elysees in Paris have been cancelled, while media interviews with its stars have been called off.

Source: BBC

Follow @shiftnaija

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Map
Amateur video posted on YouTube is said to show the scene immediately after the shooting

At least 12 people have been killed and dozens wounded in a shooting at a midnight cinema showing of the new Batman film near Denver, Colorado.

Witnesses said a man wearing a gas mask opened fire after tossing a tear gas canister in the auditorium as movie-goers watched The Dark Knight Rises.

A 24-year-old former medical student was arrested in a car park nearby. He had a rifle, handgun and knife.

Another gun was recovered from the theatre, in the city of Aurora.

Police revised down the death toll from 14 earlier. They said about 50 people had been shot, including the deceased.

‘Booby-trapped home’
FBI sources named the gunman as Aurora resident James Holmes, a white American. They said no terrorism link had been established.

President Obama: “It is a day for reflection and prayer”

Police said he had been a student at the University of Colorado School of Medicine in Denver until he dropped out last month.

US President Barack Obama has spoken of his shock at the incident, which began at about 00:30 local time (06:30 GMT) at the Century 16 cinema multiplex.

Acting on information from the suspect, the authorities said they had discovered his home in the north of Aurora was booby-trapped with flammable and explosive material.

The apartment complex was evacuated as FBI agents and police used a fire engine ladder to reach the property, and put a camera on the end of pole to look inside.

Police chief Dan Oates said the massacre was “a horrific event”.

“The shooting apparently went on for some time,” he added.

Evan Dozier was in the cinema with his wife and children

Witnesses said the gunman opened fire during an action scene in the summer blockbuster.

The gunman was described as wearing a bullet-proof vest and riot gear, an outfit similar to that of the villain Bane in The Dark Knight Rises.

There was chaos as movie-goers, some dressed in costume as heroes and villains, fled.

Ten people were killed at the cinema and two others died later in hospital of their wounds.

Many ambulances attended the scene.

‘Firing at random’
About 50 people, some in a critical condition, were taken to four hospitals. Several victims were reportedly suffering from the effects of chemical exposure from the canister thrown by the gunman.

Colorado gun laws

  • Residents allowed to keep guns in homes, offices and vehicles, but can only carry them in public with a permit
  • There are no limits to how many guns can be bought a month, and the state permits sale of automatic weapons
  • No waiting period for buying a handgun, both state and federal state law requires criminal background checks
  • Since 1998 Columbine massacre, 20 miles from scene of Friday’s shooting, it has become easier to buy guns in US – a national ban on assault weapons sale expired in 2004

The casualties included a four-month-old baby, who was released from hospital after treatment, and a six-year-old child.

One witness said the gunman had been “slowly making his way up the stairs and just firing – picking random people”.

Another 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.”

It is reported that some of the shots fired went through the wall and may have hit people in an adjacent auditorium.

Another eyewitness, identified only as Pam, told the BBC: “He fired a canister into the air. It shot it right into the air, then I started to hear the bang, bang, bang of a gun.

US mass shootings

  • Nov 2009: US Army psychiatrist Maj Nidal Malik Hasan allegedly kills 13 people at the Fort Hood base in Texas.
  • April 2009: Vietnamese immigrant Jiverly Wong, 41, shoots dead 13 people at a New York state immigration centre.
  • March 2009: After compiling a “hit list”, Michael McLendon, 28, kills 10 people, including his mother and uncle, in two Alabama towns.
  • April 2007: South Korean student Seung-Hui Cho, 23, guns down 27 fellow students and five staff at Virginia Tech university.
  • July 1999: Stock trader Mark Barton, 44, shoots his wife and two children at his Atlanta, Georgia home then kills nine in city’s business district.
  • April 1999: Eric Harris, 18, and Dylan Klebold, 17, kill 12 students and a teacher at Columbine High School in Littleton, Colorado.

“I crawled my way through the row. Luckily the exit was close to where I was sitting so I got out pretty fast. I heard more shots as I left.”

Another eyewitness, Salina Jordan, 19, told the Denver Post she had seen one girl shot in the cheek, and a girl who appeared to be about nine years old with a gunshot wound to the stomach.

A witness in the next-door theatre told 9News he initially thought live special effects had been laid on by the cinema after hearing loud bangs and seeing smoke.

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.”

New York Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly said his officers would patrol screenings of the film in that city to deter any copycat shootings.

Plans for Friday night’s red carpet premiere of the film on the Champs-Elysees in Paris have been cancelled, while media interviews with its stars have been called off.

Source: BBC

Follow @shiftnaija

Click here to subscribe to The Paradigm Newsletter

Comments

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