Colorado shooting: Police look for clues after dark night
Batman moviegoers, at first, think that shooting is part of the spectacle. Paris cancels opening of 'The Dark Knight Rises,' as New York tightens security at film's opening to preempt copycats.
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"Ann and I are deeply saddened by the news of the senseless violence that took the lives of 15 people in Colorado and injured dozens more. We are praying for the families and loved ones of the victims during this time of deep shock and immense grief. We expect that the person responsible for this terrible crime will be quickly brought to justice."Skip to next paragraph
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At first, many in the theater thought the smoke and shooting was part of a stunt.
Then they saw a silhouette of a person near the screen, first pointing a gun at the crowd and then shooting.
"There were bullet [casings] just falling on my head. They were burning my forehead," Jennifer Seeger told the Associated Press, adding that the gunman, dressed like a SWAT team member, fired steadily except when he stopped to reload.
"Every few seconds it was just: Boom, boom, boom," she said. "He would reload and shoot and anyone who would try to leave would just get killed."
It was the worst mass shooting in Colorado since the Columbine High School massacre on April 20, 1999. Students Eric Harris, 18, and Dylan Klebold, 17, opened fire at the school in the Denver suburb of Littleton, about 15 miles west of Aurora, killing 12 classmates and a teacher and wounding 26 others before killing themselves.
Police in New York have intensified security around showings of the film throughout the five boroughs today, ABC News reported, with police commissioner Ray Kelley saying that "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."
The Paris premiere of the movie has been cancelled in the wake of the shootings. "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," the movie's producers, said in a statement.
The FBI as well as local law enforcement authorities are involved in the investigation, including interviews with the suspect’s friends and neighbors.
A California woman who identified herself as the mother of James Holmes told ABC News her son was likely the culprit, saying, "You have the right person."
The woman, contacted at her home in San Diego, spoke briefly with ABC News and immediately expressed concern her son may be involved in the shooting death of at least 12 people overnight.
"You have the right person," she said. "I need to call the police…. I need to fly out to Colorado."