Friday, July 20, 2012

UPDATED: Shooting Takes Place During Screening Of 'The Dark Knight Rises'

This story is updating...

What should have been a great moment for movie fans has turned in to a nightmare for friends and families in Colorado.  A masked gunman began firing a gun in a movie theater showing The Dark Knight Rises injuring 50 and killing at least 14 people at the Century 16 in Aurora, Colo.  Currently, there is one suspect in custody.  UPDATE: Aurora PD has updated the number to 12 dead and 70+ injured.

Aurora Police said in a press conference that the gunman appeared at the front of the theater and tossed some sort of a gas canister and then began firing a weapon.  The suspect was found by police in the parking lot with a rifle, handgun and a gas mask.  During a press briefing, Aurora PD said that the suspect told them that he had explosive materials at his residence.  Police have evacuated his apartment building and will be searching it soon.  UPDATE: S.W.A.T. and bomb specialists are taking precautions with his apartment because it is booby trapped with several devices.

Witnesses have told local news stations that they thought they were hearing sound effects from the movie.  When they realized what was happening everyone began running out.  Many witnesses have mentioned seeing several young people, children, in the crowd.

As of right now, there is no confirmation if the suspect was already in the theater when the movie started.  Some eyewitnesses are telling KUSA that the suspect kicked open the emergency exit.  However, these eyewitnesses are saying that they heard these details from someone else.  So far we have not heard from anyone who actually saw this happen.  UPDATE: Police are not saying how he entered the theater, but did say that his car was parked behind it.  He was dressed in a ballistics helmet, protective gear and a gas mask.

You might be wondering why on earth we are reporting this story.  As the Editor In Chief it was not a decision that I approached lightly.  I do not want our readers to think that we are bring you this story for sensationalism.  If anything, I made the choice because just like all of you I am wondering, "Why?"

No matter what the suspect says to police, we'll never understand why.  We'll never be able to know what truly went on in his brain that made him decide to take the lives of these innocent people.    

By this time tomorrow the debate will already be raging with politicians, talking news heads and media outlets if he was copying the movie and if Hollywood is to blame.  This may also result in stricter cosplay rules at conventions and midnight screenings.  I do not want to take part in those debates right now.  This is not the time.  The only certainty of this is that it was senseless and tragic.  UPDATE: As predicted, many of these things are taking place already.  Discovery News posted a story titled "Is 'Dark Knight' Violence Factor In Shooting'.  Read it here.  UPDATE II: AMC Theatres has issued a statement that they will no longer be allowing in regards to costumes in their theatres.  This includes masks, fake weapons and costumes that may make patrons "uncomfortable".  Read it the full statement here.

UPDATE: Many outlets reported that Warner Brothers would be cancelling screenings of The Dark Knight Rises due to the shooting.  This is not the case.  What they did do was cancel the Paris premiere and public appearances by the stars and director.

UPDATE: Director Christopher Nolan has issued the following statement (credit: Variety):

"Speaking on behalf of the cast and crew of 'The Dark Knight Rises,' I would like to express our profound sorrow at the senseless tragedy that has befallen the entire Aurora community. I would not presume to know anything about the victims of the shooting but that they were there last night to watch a movie. I believe movies are one of the great American art forms and the shared experience of watching a story unfold on screen is an important and joyful pastime. The movie theater is my home, and the idea that someone would violate that innocent and hopeful place in such an unbearably savage way is devastating to me. Nothing any of us can say could ever adequately express our feelings for the innocent victims of this appalling crime, but our thoughts are with them and their families."

Our hearts go out to the family and friends of the victims.  You can help them by visiting and seeing what you can do to assist.

We will continue updating this story throughout the day.  UPDATE: Should we update with any more information, we will not be adding the identity or picture of the shooter.  POParitaville will not give him the fame that he wants.

Editor In Chief
"Jungle" Jesse Banda  

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