A lone gunman opened fire in a theater during a screening of the new Batman movie, The Dark Knight Rises, in Aurora, CO, just east of Denver, early Friday morning. The gunman, wearing a bulletproof vest, was arrested by police outside the theater in the rear. Cell phone video from outside the lobby shows patrons fleeing through the glass front doors, some escorted by police, some bloodied, all in a state of confusion, shock and horror.
The film had opened nationwide at 12:01 a.m. on Friday, with many fans of the Batman series and comic book waiting for hours outside theater complexes and crowding into sold-out screenings. Hollywood watchers had predicted the largest opening ever, with box office receipts in the realm of $50 million. Political debate had raged over the villain, whose name is Bane (similar to Republican presidential contender Mitt Romney’s former firm, Bain Capital) but whose ideas echo those of the far-left wing, Democrat-backed Occupy Wall Street movement. There was no indication as to any political motive for the shooting in Aurora.
President Barack Obama expressed his shock and his condolences to the families of the victims. Romney and his wife Ann also expressed their “sadness” at the shooting.
Update: The suspect has been identified as James Holmes. The death toll has been revised downward to 12. Update: And now upward to 13.