Chaos, explosions, and gunfire at a Colorado movie theater at the midnight premiere of The Dark Knight Rises, but it wasn’t on screen, rather it was in the theater itself. A gunman opened fire in a crowded movie theater shooting dozens of people. In total, 70 people were shot and 12 people have been killed by the shooter. The suspect, James Holmes is in police custody. With hundreds of people in Aurora, Colorado terrorized by yet another mass shooting, America is now reeling with pain and sympathy for the victims for this horrendous tragedy.
Police say 24-year-old James Holmes, entered the theater from a rear door. Witnesses say he was dressed head to toe in black protective gear and armor and wearing a gas mask. Armed with an AR-15 assault rifle, a 12-gauge shotgun and two handguns, he is said to have propped the door open and tossed in two canisters of some form of gas, smoking out the packed theater, before opening fire on anyone he saw fit. According to reports, Holmes casually walked up the aisle, shooting any random person. Witnesses say as people fled to get away out the door, he would fire upon them. Holmes surrendered to police, minutes after the shooting.
Frantic 911 calls poured into law enforcement in the area and victims flooded local hospitals. Victims, as young as 4 months old, have been treated for gunshot wounds. First responders and movie-goers described a frantic scene inside the theater as bloody and horrific. The motive of the gunman is still unknown at this point. Perhaps we’ll never know. An obvious psychopath, no sane and normal person would plan on walking into a crowded theater trying to take out as many as possible. He’s already being compared to another mass shooting suspect, Jared Loughner from the 2011 Tucson, Arizona shootings. Police say Holmes does have some fascination with The Dark Knight’s antagonist, the Joker, proclaiming, “I am the Joker,” to authorities. Police, and fire-rescue departments were at the Holmes’s apartment late Friday evening, heeding a warning from him of more danger to come. According to fire officials there, Holmes’s apartment is significantly wired and booby-trapped.
In the wake of the shooting many questions will be asked, though few will adequately be answered. Gun laws and legislation will be examined. Security of the public will remain in question. How fictional violence is portrayed in relation to real-life events will get another look. The background of James Holmes will be profiled. We’ll hear stories of heroism in the theater when the shooting was happening. Despite this tragedy, there will be great stories, the like we saw from the September 11 terror attacks, the Virginia Tech shooting, and the Tucson Arizona shooting. Fortunately, as bad as it is, it’s hard to destroy the American spirit. Only after events such as this people band together even stronger. People may even use heroes like Batman, who hundreds went to go see that fateful night, to signify their strength.
Not for nothin’, but it’s a sad ending for a great movie trilogy to be marred with tragedy like this. After 12 people are now dead, another 70 people shot, 58 people injured, 11 in critical condition, just another movie premiere pales in comparison to what our America’s focus is on right now. With the premiere of the film, The Dark Knight Rises, a black cloud will now be forever linked along with it. A traditional, Friday night at the movie theater in America, will not be the same for a while.