AURORA MASS SHOOTING
AURORA, Colo. – A terrifying shooting at an Aurora movie theater overnight left 12 people dead and about 38 people hurt.
The shooting happened at about 12:30 a.m. at the Town Center in Aurora at the Century 16 theater on East Alameda Avenue. Reports first came in that there were explosions in the theater showing the new Batman movie “The Dark Knight Rises.” Shots then rang out, and a frantic scene followed.
Police said ten people died inside the theater. A three-month-old was among those who were hurt, but the baby was treated and released from the hospital.
“Witnesses tell us he released some sort of canister. They heard a hissing sound and some gas emerged and the gunman opened fire,” Chief Dan Oates said.
The midnight showing of the movie had just started when the violence began. Donovan Tate and his girlfriend escaped from the packed theater.
“There was this one guy on all fours crawling. There was this girl spitting up blood. There were bullet holes in some people’s backs, in some people’s arms. There was one guy who was just stripped down to his boxers. It looked like he had been shot in the back or something,” Tate told CBS4.
Aurora police said victims have been taken to six different hospitals, with 22 going to University of Colorado Hospital. They wrote in a news release that “many were rushed immediately to hospitals in police cars by responding officers. The injured and dead include a wide age range.”
University of Colorado Hospital spokeswoman Comilla Sasson said nine people were critical condition in their emergency room.
“At 1 a.m. we received notice that there had been a shooting in the area and then at about 1:15 a.m. we started having patients pouring in via police cars, ambulances private car,” Sasson said. “Then we activated our disaster protocol. So we had folks from all parts of the hospital coming in to help us, coming in specifically for this tragedy.”
Police said they have a suspect in custody — James Holmes — and that explosives were found at the suspect’s home. They said they aren’t sure if there was a second suspect and are continuing to investigate.
Witnesses and people who were evacuated from apartments nearby were being taken to Gateway High School at 1300 S. Sable Blvd. for interviews and also to reunite with friends and family. RTD provided buses that were used to move those people back and forth from the scene of the shooting to the school.
CBS News reported that President Barack Obama was informed byHomeland Security Advisor John Brennan about the shooting at 3:30 a.m.
The incident is one of the worst mass shootings in the United States since 32 people were killed in 2007 on the Virginia Tech campus in Blacksburg, Va. In 1999, 13 people were killed in the Columbine High School massacre that happened about 25 miles southwest of Friday morning’s attack.