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12 dead in shooting at Aurora, Colo., theater

A shooter opened fire on theatergoers during a midnight premiere of The Dark Knight Rises.


Michelle Jaworski


Posted on Jul 20, 2012   Updated on Jun 2, 2021, 2:10 pm CDT

Twelve people are confirmed dead and 50 others have been wounded during a midnight screening of The Dark Knight Rises in Aurora, Colo., early Friday, according to authorities.

Police have identified the shooter as 24-year-old James Holmes and told reporters that he was not associated with any terrorist organization. Police spokesperson Frank Fania told CNN that Holmes did not put up a fight.

Witnesses said that he came into the front of the theater, threw a smoke bomb, and shot the ceiling. Many witnesses initially thought that it was part of the movie because the shooting started in the middle of a shootout scene in the movie.

“Everyone’s going for the door and then everyone starts saying, ‘no, he’s going to shoot people going for the door, and he did,” witness Jennifer Seeger told TODAY. “They’re trying to escape, and he shot those at well.”

Ten people died at the scene, and the injured were taken to nearby hospitals, where two more people were pronounced dead. Children as young as 3 months were taken to the hospital. The Denver Post has an updated photo gallery of the shooting aftermath.

Many eyewitnesses took to the Web to report on the shooting and let family and friends know when they’re okay. Caitlin was in the same theater in which the shooting occurred.

“Oh God, I don’t know what to do,” she tweeted. Her friend is MIA, and she still hasn’t been able to find him.

“Raw video of the aftermath of the shooting at the Century 16 in Aurora Shooting i people shot,” Esteban L. Hernandez tweeted. He outside the theater when the shooting occurred.

(Warning: The video below is graphic.)

One eyewitness aggregated the news updates into a timeline on Reddit.

In a statement, President Barack Obama said his “administration will do everything that we can to support the people of Aurora in this extraordinarily difficult time.” The investigation into the shooting is still ongoing.

Photo via YouTube

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*First Published: Jul 20, 2012, 9:44 am CDT