(Fox News) Police and FBI are questioning the suspected gunman in a shooting early Friday at a crowded midnight screening of the new Batman movie, “The Dark Knight Rises,” in Aurora, Colo., that left 12 people dead and at least 50 wounded — the deadliest U.S. shooting since the Ft. Hood massacre in 2009.
The suspect, identified by federal law enforcement officials as James Holmes, 24, is in police custody. KUSA reports that Holmes kicked down an emergency door at the theater, threw in some type of a smoke bomb and began shooting when moviegoers started to run. The bodies of the 10 people who died at the theater remain at the scene early Friday while police continue to investigate, the Denver Post reports.
Witnesses say they heard a series of explosions and up to 20 gunshots after the scene grew chaotic. About 100 witnesses were taken to a local high school to be questioned by police.
Police, ambulances and emergency crews swarmed on the theater after frantic 911 calls around 12:30 a.m. local time, officials said.
Holmes reportedly fired shots inside the theater and fled to the parking lot and was confronted by police already at the theater for crowd control.
Holmes wore a bulletproof vest, police said, and was carrying a rifle and two handguns. The handguns may have been placed in the theater before the shooting.
FBI spokesman Jason Pack said there's no indication in the investigation so far of any connection to terrorism.
President Obama said he is "shocked and saddened" by the mass shooting and urged the nation to "come together as one American family." He said his administration will do everything it can to support the people of Aurora, Colo. The White House says Obama, who was in Florida at the time of the shooting, was informed of the shooting by Homeland Security Advisor John Brennan.
"As we do when confronted by moments of darkness and challenge, we must now come together as one American family," Obama said in a statement. "All of us must have the people of Aurora in our thoughts and prayers as they confront the loss of family, friends, and neighbors."
James Wilburn was sitting in the second row of theater 9 after midnight when an emergency door opened and a man entered, the Denver Post reports.
"He was dressed in black," Wilburn told the newspaper. "Wearing a flack jacket and a gas mask."
The man was carrying a shotgun and had a rifle strapped to his back, Wilburn said. The gunman then dropped a canister, causing a noxious gas to spew out. He raised the shotgun and repeatedly fired toward the back of the theater.
Friday, July 20, 2012
At least 12 dead, at least 50 injured in shooting at Colorado movie theater