UPDATED: 12 People Shot Dead at Midnight Screening Of THE DARK KNIGHT RISES - 59 Wounded

<font color="red"><b>UPDATED</b>:</font> 12 People Shot Dead at Midnight Screening Of THE DARK KNIGHT RISES - <font color="red">59 Wounded</font></b>

A masked gunman has shot dead over a dozen people and wounded 59 others at a US showing of The Dark Knight Rises according to reports.

12 people were killed and 59 were injured (most critically) when a masked gunman reportedly kicked open an exit door and opened fire during a midnight showing of the Dark Knight Rises at a mall in Aurora, Colo.

Police and witness reports indicate that a gunman fired into the audience 15 minutes into the midnight showing of the film. Police confirmed that the shooter — who entered theater number 9 dressed all in black and wearing a gas mask and released a canister filled with gas — fired a rifle multiple times into the audience. Speaking on the Today Show, one witness described the suspect as wearing a SWAT-like outfit. Aurora police chief Dan Oates said that 10 died during the attack, and four more died in area hospitals. Several children, including a three-month-old and a six-year-old girl, were among those treated at nearby hospitals, according to reports.

UPDATE: Warner Bros. has issued the following statement..

“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.”

UPDATE #2: Yahoo reports that the shooter has been identified as James Holmes, age 24. He was caught by police in the parking lot of the Century 16 Movie Theaters. Police said the man appeared to have acted alone.

UPDATE #3 - CBS has an eyewitness describing the event in this video...

911 calls and some police radio communication...

Visit NBCNews.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

UPDATE #4 - ABC has found the shooter's picture, and there is more info on his background...

ABCnews.com - The man in custody for allegedly killing 12 people at the screening of the latest Batman movie in Aurora, Colorado told authorities after the shooting that he "was The Joker," NYPD police commissioner Ray Kelly said today.

Kelly told reporters the suspect, identified by federal officials as 24-year-old James Holmes, had dyed his hair like The Joker. The Joker is a well-known villain in the fictional Batman universe. The attack took place at a screening of "The Dark Knight Rises," the final movie in a Batman trilogy, following "The Dark Knight" in which The Joker was the principal villain.

Two federal law enforcement officials confirmed the details of The Joker costume to ABC News. Police said the weapons used in the massacre include a military-style AR-15 assault rifle, a shotgun and two handguns.

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The suspected "lone-wolf" shooter of the Batman movie theater massacre in Aurora, Colo. earlier today has been identified as PhD student James Holmes, who recently withdrew from his neuroscience studies at the Univesrity of Colorado before shooting up "The Dark Knight Rises" screening.

Holmes, 24, moved to Aurora to pursue his PhD at the University of Colorado medical center, living just blocks from the hospital in an apartment that is now laced with explosives and being searched by Haz-Mat teams.

Holmes killed at least 12 people and injured as many as 50, including U.S. military members, during the midnight premiere of the movie at the Century 16 Movie Theaters in Aurora early this morning. He barged into the theater mid-show, setting off smoke bombs and stalking up and down the aisles firing as many as four weapons at viewers.

He was captured by police in the parking lot while still wearing a bullet-proof vest, riot helmet and gas mask.

Moviegoer Christopher Ramos today recalled the real-life horror of the midnight premiere of the latest Batman movie, "The Dark Knight Rises," in Aurora, Colo., as a gunman decked in riot gear set off smoke bombs and opened fire on the unsuspecting audience.

"People were running everywhere, running on top of me, like kicking me, jumping over me. And there were bodies on the ground," Ramos said. "I froze up. I was scared. I honestly thought I was going to die."

"The image in our heads is stuck in there. I still have the ticket right here and honestly, I'm never going to forget this night at all. Because it was the first time I saw something that was real. Like a real-life nightmare that was there, not dreaming of," Ramos told ABC News today.

Holmes was caught by police in the parking lot of the movie theater shortly after the shooting still dressed in his riot gear, an outfit eerily similar to a villain in "The Dark Knight Rises." He warned police that his Aurora apartment was booby-trapped, leading police to evacuate the apartment complex. They were working this morning to gain entry to and diffuse the apartment, which they said seems to be "elaborately" rigged with explosives.

"The pictures we have from inside the apartment are pretty disturbing considering how elaborate the apartment is booby trapped," police said outside of the apartment complex today. The "flammable and explosive" materials could have blown up Holmes' apartment building and the ones near it, police said.

The apartment complex is home exclusively to University of Colorado Medical Center students, patients, and staff members, residents tell ABC News.

Witnesses in the movie theater said Holmes saw smoke and heard gunshots that they thought were part of the movie until they saw Holmes standing in front of the screen, after entering from an emergency exit. Holmes methodically stalked the aisles of the theater, shooting people at random, as panicked movie-watchers in the packed auditorium tried to escape, witnesses said.

"You just smelled smoke and you just kept hearing it, you just heard bam bam bam, non-stop. The gunman never had to reload. Shots just kept going, kept going, kept going," one witness told ABC News.

"I'm with coworkers and we're on the floor praying to God we don't get shot, and the gunshots continue on and on, and when the sound finally stopped, we started to get up and people were just bleeding," another theatergoer said.

Police said 10 victims died inside the theater, while dozens of others were taken to local hospitals, including a child as young as 6 years old.

A San Diego woman identifying herself as James Holmes's mother spoke briefly with ABC News this morning.

She had awoken unaware of the news of the shooting and had not been contacted by authorities. She immediately expressed concern that her son may have been involved.

"You have the right person," she said.

"I need to call the police," she added. "I need to fly out to Colorado."

The woman and her husband later released a statement saying their "hearts go out to those who involved in this tragedy and to the families and friends of those involved. We are still trying to procss this information and we appreciate that people will respect our privacy."

Holmes was wearing a bullet-proof vest and riot helmet and carrying a gas mask, rifle, and handgun, when he was apprehended, according to police. Federal Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms sources told ABC News that agents will begin tracing an assault rifle, shotgun, and two handguns used in the attack.

As he was taken into custody, Holmes mentioned having "boobytrapped" his apartment with explosives stored, leading police to evacuate his entire North Aurora apartment complex and search the buildings early this morning.

The highly-anticipated third installment of the Batman triology opened to packed auditoriums around the country at midnight showings on Friday morning, and features a villain named Bane who wears a bulletproof vest and gas mask. Trailers for the movie show explosions at public events including a football game. Though many moviegoers dressed in costume to attend the opening night screening, police have made no statements about any connection between the gunman's motives and the movie.

Police in New York have intensified security around showings of the film throughout the five boroughs today, 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. and the filmmakers are 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.

Witnesses watching movies in theaters next to the one where the shooting took place said bullets tore through the theater walls and they heard screaming.

"The suspect throws tear gas in the air, and as the tear gas appears he started shooting," said Lamar Lane, who was watching the midnight showing of the movie with his brother. "It was very hard to breathe. I told my brother to take cover. It took awhile. I started seeing flashes and screaming, I just saw blood and people yelling and a quick glimpse of the guy who had a gas mask on. I was pushed out. There was chaos, we started running."

One witness said she saw people dropping to the ground after the gunshots began.

"We were maybe 20 or 30 minutes into the movie and all you hear, first you smell smoke, everybody thought it was fireworks or something like that, and then you just see people dropping and the gunshots are constant," witness Christ Jones told ABC's Denver affiliate KMGH. "I heard at least 20 to 30 rounds within that minute or two."

A man who talked to a couple who was inside the theater told ABC News, "They got up and they started to run through the emergency exit, and that when she turned around, she said all she saw was the guy slowly making his way up the stairs and just firing at people, just picking random people," he said. "The gunshots continued to go on and on and then after we didn't hear anything...we finally got up and there was people bleeding, there was people obviously may have been actually dead or anything, and we just ran up out of there, there was chaos everywhere."

Witnesses and victims were taken to Gateway High School for questioning.

Hundreds of police and FBI agents are involved in the investigation. A senior official who is monitoring the situation in Washington said that early guidance based on the early snapshot of this man's background indicated that this act does not appear to be linked to radical terrorism or anything related to Islamic terrorism.

Dr. Comilla Sasson, at the University of Colorado Hospital where many of the victims were taken, said they are currently operating on nine critical patients and have treated 22 in all. She called the hospital "an absolutely terrifying scene all night."

"The good news is that the 3-month-old has actually been discharged home and is in the care of their parents

In a statement, President Obama said, "Michelle and I are shocked and saddened by the horrific and tragic shooting in Colorado. Federal and local law enforcement are still responding, and my administration will do everything that we can to support the people of Aurora in this extraordinarily difficult time. We are committed to bringing whoever was responsible to justice, ensuring the safety of our people, and caring for those who have been wounded."

A man who was in the adjacent theater with his son, said that the commotion began as one of the action scenes was starting up.

"These guys came through, and they say someone's shooting," he said. "I thought, 'Oh, they must have heard the fireworks, you know ... I had no idea. And then the alarms started to go off in the theater.'"

An explosive device was also found inside the movie house. Police are not sure whether the device, which investigators are calling a bomb, was already in place or whether it was thrown into the crowd.

Ambulances rushed to the scene as audience members fled the theater.

Investigators are now interviewing friends and associates of the suspect to get a sense of the man's background.

For continuing coverage on this tragedy, stay tuned to ComicBookMovie.com
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monstalova - 7/20/2012, 1:59 AM
Does he think hes the batman impersonator from the dark knight?
Bad start for the dark knight rises! Can you americans get rid of your guns!!!!??
AmazingFantasy - 7/20/2012, 2:03 AM
[frick]ING IDIOTS. Bitch should be found and killed, why the [frick] do you go and shoot up a movie theater?

This is horrible. Let's stop with the hating an focus on this.

inb4 shit movie.
SageMode - 7/20/2012, 2:04 AM
Obsess much?
JakeMurdock89 - 7/20/2012, 2:05 AM
Wow this is [frick]ing sick and horrible
NickMP - 7/20/2012, 2:12 AM
I'm watching the news right now and it was two shooters and they killed an infant baby these motherfckers shot be taken outside and shot in the head
blvdnoise - 7/20/2012, 2:16 AM
Tragic.. and such a shame for TDKR to have even the slightest bit of connection to it..
xfan320 - 7/20/2012, 2:18 AM
Wow is right, I just got back from the showing. They had sold out 6 screens in my theater and I couldn't even imagine if some sick bastard had done that when all the people were gettin out.

I hope they find this guy. Why would (he?) want to do such a thing anyways?

Romney fanatic?
SFCamerica - 7/20/2012, 2:20 AM
Let's ban all guns, you know the crazies and criminals will adhere to that law. 69 were gunned down in NORWAY just a year ok, Monstalova, please think before commenting.

My heart goes out for those who lost friends and family. I myself heard on radio on my drive home from TDKR and all I could think about was my 7 1/2 month pregnant wife sleeping at home.

A real solution is to allow conceal and carry, as soon as shots had been fired a law abiding, trained citizen could have put the shooter(s) down preventing more loss of life.
SFCamerica - 7/20/2012, 2:23 AM
It's not normally conservatives that commit these acts, Xfan, the majority them actually have morals and values.
NickMP - 7/20/2012, 2:27 AM
SFCamerica i agree it makes me sick that when something like this happens its always conservatives that get blamed not the sick FU*K that did the shooting and getting rid of guns wont solve anything because people will always find a to kill people
brickwall - 7/20/2012, 2:36 AM
Just heard the news my thoughts are with the family and friends of those affected.

The people who committed these acts are disgusting, absolute scum of the Earth.

It annoys me that people who are unable to deal with life decide to take out their problems on innocent people.
musashi - 7/20/2012, 2:44 AM
Wow, this is insane! First death threats and now actual death and wounding.

My thoughts and prayers go to all those poor people who are affected by this tragedy. A cowardly act carried out by a mentally disturbed person. I hope that he is brought to justice.
hellfire - 7/20/2012, 2:44 AM
my Sympathy to the families and to the people caught in the middle of it. Another film which will be overshadowed by the tragic and senseless loss of life. It's time like these when the Americans have the right idea about the death penalty. I hope he/they get what they deserve.
Jollem - 7/20/2012, 2:46 AM
i am hoping there will not be any tasteless jokes about crazy "marvelites" doing this or republican gun nuts for romney or anything like that. people died here for nothing. that's horrible
SFCamerica - 7/20/2012, 2:50 AM
Hate to tell you TeleVizion, but those "smoke bombs" don't instantly cover an area. Have you ever seen one? I have seen many and i could have got off 2 rounds, center mass, on both suspects before they knew what hit them. I, like many who carry, have a lot of experience and training.
FrankieDedo - 7/20/2012, 2:53 AM
i really REALLY hope that those 2 bastards will be caught and that they aren't some kind of nolanite/fanatics, i'm not trolling, but after the death threats i think that this is a possibility. i respect all the tdk fans out there but, i read somewhere that they were dressed like "the movie villains"...i just hope that the violence and the chaos from the movies would not infect the weak people out there...
lunesta - 7/20/2012, 2:58 AM
man this is horrible anybody know why that crazy son of bitch did it
Jollem - 7/20/2012, 2:59 AM
that would not go well for comicdom and it's fans if it was either the crazies on the marvel studios side or the nolan side
loki668 - 7/20/2012, 3:03 AM
Isn't it sad to know that, somewhere, out there is the sad, pathetic, son of a bitch who thought that this was a good idea and that it would make him famous. I just hope that someone reminds him that, just like his parents did, we'll all forget this waste of carbon matter five minutes after he is arrested.

It's amazing that some people are so blitheringly ignorant, so woefully simple-minded, and completely moronic that THIS is the activity they come up with. Let that be a lesson to you, people! It's better if your family tree has branches! Otherwise, you'll do ignorant shit like this and upset your sister/mom or brother/dad. [frick]ing pathetic!

Lord Loki has spoken
Woodsy - 7/20/2012, 3:22 AM
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musashi - 7/20/2012, 3:28 AM
By NBC News staff

Updated at 5:59 a.m. ET: At least 14 people were killed early Friday when at least one gunman opened fire at a midnight screening of the summer blockbuster "The Dark Knight Rises" near Denver, authorities and witnesses said.

Aurora police chief Dan Oates told reporters that 10 people died at the scene of the shooting and four others died after being taken to local hospitals. At least 50 other people were injured, Oates said.

One suspect was in custody, police said.

Witnesses told reporters that gunfire erupted during a shootout scene.
Brenda Stuart, of 850 KOA radio, told Sky News that "a lot of people thought the gunshots were part of the movie."

The Denver Post quoted witness, Bejamin Fernandez, 30, as saying that people ran from the theater as shots rang out.

Fernandez told the Post that he saw people falling, including one young girl.

Salina Jordan, 19, who was in Theater 8, told the Post she saw one girl struck in the cheek and others in the stomach, including a girl who looked to be around 9 years old.

Narcus - 7/20/2012, 3:34 AM
Shame on all you pricks making a joke out of this!! You should be ashamed of yourselves and of your lack of IQ and respect! Little bitches!
Jollem - 7/20/2012, 3:45 AM
@Narcus - not saying how anyone should do what they do, but, sometimes in situations some not-tasteless levity helps in these kind of shocking and horrible situations.

for example, when my friends father died some years ago there were lots of people that gave him the comfort you would expect any decent human to give another. and that's way cool. when i finally hung out with him again i said; "hey [frick]er!, let's go play some frisbee golf." i think he really liked that. made him laugh.

and yes, knowingly tasteless jokes is not cool
ElShumway - 7/20/2012, 3:52 AM
Why is this not on main?
prototype87 - 7/20/2012, 3:52 AM
my condolences to all the families that lost there love ones.
Durf - 7/20/2012, 3:56 AM
Just sick that someone would do this. I hope they fry the bastards

@Monstalova: Right, because criminals will adhere to that law. Good call. Moron...
marvel72 - 7/20/2012, 3:56 AM
this is very sad news,r.i.p batman fans.
lunesta - 7/20/2012, 3:56 AM
damn isnt denver colorado were columbine happen
Durf - 7/20/2012, 4:00 AM
^^^^well, it is supposedly this December, but ok

@lunesta: yes, a suburb I believe
lunesta - 7/20/2012, 4:06 AM
anybody know why he did it
Durf - 7/20/2012, 4:08 AM
@lunesta: who knows. who knows why these sickos do what they do really. attention, anger, or something else? whatever the reason, I hope Colorado has the death penalty
Jollem - 7/20/2012, 4:12 AM
one guy. 3 guns. bulletproof vest. riot helmet or gas mask. smoke device. set off in one theater. shooting happened in one theater. bullets were going through walls into other theaters. was walking calmly like he knew what he was doing. as told by ex-marine witness
lunesta - 7/20/2012, 4:15 AM
man poor batman fans tomorow this article going to be worser seriously this is [frick]ing sad
BIGBMH - 7/20/2012, 4:22 AM
This is awful. It just defies explanation.

MitchConner - 7/20/2012, 4:22 AM
Damn...poor guys...what a dik
UrbanKnight - 7/20/2012, 4:23 AM
"i can't believe some people at this site still make jokes over a tragedy shame on you. i think the world definitely should next december"

Agreed. Shows who is more human outta all of us.
BIGBMH - 7/20/2012, 4:23 AM
I agree, batlizard11. There are times for jokes, but this is not one of them.
UrbanKnight - 7/20/2012, 4:25 AM
People wouldnt be making jokes if it was their family. Cheap shots.
This is a huge thing mot to be taken lightly.
Worst that a stupid threat!
usclerkguy - 7/20/2012, 4:27 AM
Thoughts and prayers going out to victims and their families. Tragic and senseless, just sad,
Keldor - 7/20/2012, 4:29 AM
14 people shot dead. Ipublished an article about this...butit was mysteriously deleted this morning...
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