Theater Shooting at Colorado ‘Dark Knight Rises’ Screening; Paris Premiere Cancelled

Published 2 years ago by , Updated July 20th, 2012 at 12:00 pm,

The Dark Knight Rises Theater Shooting Theater Shooting at Colorado Dark Knight Rises Screening; Paris Premiere Cancelled

The Dark Knight Rises, one of – if not the – most anticipated films of 2012, opened in theaters last night to record-breaking midnight screening numbers (estimated at $27 million). However, even while fans on the West Coast were standing in line to get their chance to see Christopher Nolan’s final Batman film at 12:01 AM (or 3:00 AM in some cases), tragedy had already struck a local theater in Aurora, Colorado – when an armed gunman walked into a midnight screening of the film and opened fire.

Police first received reports of the shooting at 12:39 AM (MST) but, before they could get to the scene, the gunman had already taken the lives of at least twelve moviegoers and wounded fifty nine others.

While plenty of details still have to be worked out, investigators have pieced together a rough picture of the event through eyewitness reports (we’ll update when an “official” timeline is released).

The suspect, believed to be James Holmes (a 24-year-old Aurora man) donned a gas mask and Kevlar before gaining access to the theater through an emergency exit. Once inside, the man stepped in front of the screen, threw out tear gas canisters and opened fire on the audience. At first, some members of the attendees didn’t even realize they were in danger – thinking that the “smoke” and gunfire were special simulated effects for the midnight show. According to CNN reports, the shooter brought at least four guns, described as “an ‘AK type’ rifle, a shotgun and two handguns” (one of which was left in his car) – some of the bullets even injured moviegoers in an adjacent theater. Several victims remain in critical condition (at the time of this writing) and both a nine year-old and three month-old are among the wounded.

Holmes was quickly apprehended after the event behind the theater and, according to police spokesperson Frank Fania, “He did not resist. He did not put up a fight.” Investigators then traveled to Holmes’ apartment – evacuating the complex after the gunman mentioned something about explosive materials. Upon arrival, police found “items of interest” and a “sophisticated” sequence of flammable traps. The gunman is believed to have worked alone (there’s no evidence of a second shooter) – and does not appear to have ties to any form of terrorist organizations.

The Dark Knight Rises Christian Bale Theater Shooting at Colorado Dark Knight Rises Screening; Paris Premiere Cancelled

Audiences attend movies for a variety of reasons and, no doubt, one of the most obvious is to get away from the horrors of the real world – to escape into fictional stories where we can be thrilled and moved without consequence. As a result of the shooting, Warner Bros. has cancelled tonight’s Dark Knight Rises premiere in Paris – as well as suspending interviews and other media events:

“Warner Bros. is 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.”

Additionally, as is the case following similar shooting events in the past, police around the country (and world) will be on patrol for potential copycats – with New York City police commissioner, Raymond Kelly, already indicating that the city will be beefing up security at theaters:

“As a precaution against copycats and to raise the comfort levels among movie patrons in the wake of the horrendous shooting in Colorado, the New York City Police Department is providing coverage at theaters where the ‘The Dark Knight Rises’ is playing in the five boroughs.”

Hopefully that “coverage” will keep everyone safe this weekend – so that movie lovers can enjoy The Dark Knight Rises (read our review) without further incident.

Screen Rant would like to express our sincere condolences to the friends and family of those affected by the Aurora shooting at this difficult time.

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Follow me on Twitter @benkendrick.

The Dark Knight Rises is now open in U.S. theaters (2D and IMAX).

Source: CNN, NBC & Warner Bros.

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124 Comments

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  1. I am very sorry to hear about the loss of so many innocent lives in this senseless act. My deepest sympathy goes out to the family of the victims. Thanks for the heads up on the Evertalk memorial page Christina. I will make sure to visit it.

  2. I heard one guy took the bullet for his girlfriend in the theatre. If that’s not the definition of a true hero I don’t know what is. May their souls rest in peace.

  3. 3 Men Died Saving & Taking Bullets For Their GF’s in Aurora Shooting

    http://www.nydailynews.com/news/national/aurora-shooting-died-bullets-sweeties-article-1.1119395

  4. what incredible acts of bravery, they went straight to heaven, angels ahead of time, what an act of of the highest bravery they gave. They carried out the core of the highest Christian act to lay down their lives for the love of another,, that others might live,, these men will be among the saints and the angels and all the brave who have done this through the centuries,, May God Bring Healing, may every prayer said comfort those effected and truamatised,, that each day be not a such a frightning place, that fear will disolve gradually and consolation be in its place to give hope, encouragement in the faces of those who have such a great weight of loss,grief,and worry, God have Mercy and Bring real help and comfort to the victims of this awful thing that has happened,,

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